Sneak Peek of the ROCK – A Non-Institutional Environment Built to Tackle Mental Health Issues

Posted by on Jul 11, 2019 in Featured Artists and Inspirations
Sneak Peek of the ROCK – A Non-Institutional Environment Built to Tackle Mental Health Issues

The renderings shown here offer a sneak peek of the reimagined Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK). The new design provides a non-institutional environment for kids tackling mental health issues.

Originally built in 1992, ROCK started out serving 400 children per year, but in the last 10 years has seen a drastic rise in demand and now serves over 15,000 children, youth, and families. Considered the largest and most vital mental health facility in the Halton region of Ontario, Canada, the ROCK focuses on the link between the natural development of children and the close relationships they share with nature.

Design Theme – Connection to Nature

ROCK believes in the human connection to nature, the importance of space that evokes personal reflection, and the influence of a strong community. The theme is consistent throughout the entire building, evoking a natural connection with the environment for the duration of one’s visit to the facility. Besides the heavily tree-lined landscape, the building provides ample natural light, views, and quiet meditative spaces.

A Sense of Wonder

The new design will feature a fractured wall, creating moments of wonder as light washes into the space. The thoughtful architecture creates a sense of wonder.

Project Details

  • Facility name: Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
  • Location (city and state): Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • Expected completion date (month and year): December 2020
  • Owner: ROCK
  • Total building area: 25,000 square feet
  • Architecture firm: Bortolotto
  • Interior design: Bortolotto
  • Contracting: TBD
  • Engineering: Blackwell (structural); Smith and Anderson (mechanical and electrical); Bronte Group (civil); and Opresnik Engineering (energy modeling)

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

Source: Luoma, Harrison. “FIRST LOOK: Reach Out Centre For Kids.” HCD Magazine, Jennifer Kovacs Silvis, 11 July 2019,

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