St. Mary's Hospital's form was inspired by the First Nations tradition of cedar bent-boxes, which are used to hold sacred items.
Daylighting is a key strategy at the hospital. All patient rooms, clinical spaces and offices are placed around the building's perimeter, with the intention that natural light will increase staff effectiveness and alertness. Patient rooms are equipped with motorized blines on the southeast and southwest facades to help block sun as needed.
All patient rooms in the 62,000-square-foot hospital addition are single-patient rooms, a first for Vancouver Coastal Health and a strategy to minimize the transmission of infections between patients.