Context: Established in 1956, the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) provides quality programs and services in Audiology, Employment Counselling, Sign Language Interpreting and Communication Devices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. The demand for services continues to grow every year with referrals from thousands of satisfied clients. As a non-profit agency, WIDHH shapes its strategic plans to best serve their community. The building that serves as the Vancouver Head Office is owned by the Institute. It can no longer adequately accommodate programs and services due to lack of space, outdated building systems, and unsuitable layout configurations. Cornerstone was retained to assist the Board in finding a viable strategy for resolving the accommodation issues and providing suitable facilities for the future.
Approach: During initial discussions it became evident that a critical factor in determining viable strategies would be the scope of development on the existing site that would be allowed by the City of Vancouver. One section of the study was therefore aimed at investigating this question using development scenarios based on preliminary estimates of future facility requirements. The other stream of work focused on developing a shared understanding of future programs, services, and operations as a basis for estimating spatial and functional requirements.
Result: The final stage involves examination of alternate strategies to find the option that best meets the requirements and has the greatest potential for being implemented.