Deer Lodge is a comprehensive facility that combines a rehabilitation hospital, research and education functions and a personal care home housing the chronically ill and the elderly. The complex was founded to care for returning veterans from the First World War. By the mid-1980s a new building was necessary, an addition to a site already filled with a hodge-podge of structures arrayed across a city block.
The new building (an addition) was set by the architects, IKOY, largely perpendicular to the extent Deer Lodge Centre (located at the north of the site, facing Lodge Avenue). This decision – and a design which saw the main section of the new wing organized as long, elevated and slender – created a strong, tall mass jutting out powerfully toward Portage Avenue: a neighbourhood landmark highly visible from the busy road. The addition’s main portion was clad in colourful metal with a satiny, lustrous finish. The south-facing, rounded, façade is set back from the building’s main wall; cladding is hung away from this area, creating a sculptural effect, one enhanced by the play of colour between these two components. The base floor, swathed in colourful masonry, balances the thrust of the taller addition section above with its robust horizontal emphasis. The building was designed in consortium with Smith Carter.