Hospital Train Of The North (HTN) was Sputnik Architecture Inc’s submission to the Architects Without Borders 2017 Indigenous Housing Ideas Competition. It prioritizes all the design portals described in the competition, and with respect to place it celebrates the unique and remote characteristics of the northern regions of Manitoba. The proposal strives to improve connectivity to other regions while providing much needed service, awareness and care opportunities for these communities. HTN is sustainble in that it makes use of existing infrustructure, giving the rail link a new and vital role, while ensuring continued use and maintenance of the line between Winnipeg and Chuchill. The vision for HTN includes the incorporation of indigenous art, like a gallery on wheels, changing from season to season, displaying the work of indigenous artists, raising awareness everywhere it is seen. HTN excels when it comes to growth and has the ability to adapt to emerging demands by its very nature. For each journey, HTN would be loaded with supplies and care givers to suite the specific requirements of each community. To make HTN a reality many groups must come together including the northern communities and first nations, the federal and provincial governments, health regions, art councils, the Canadian Forces, and other public and private enterprises. This coming together of multi-disiplanary groups to raise awereness and improve the existing quality of life in the north is the vision of HTN and will make the project truly the property of the northern region it serves.
Similar to improved housing in the remote areas of Canada, the Hospital Train Of The North will benefit individuals, families and communities of northern Indigenous communities. The concept for the Hospital Train Of The North is to provide supplemental health care services to communities along the rail line between Winnipeg and Churchill Manitoba, focusing on the Northern Regional Health Authoritiy District. Many of these northern communities are under served, forcing residents to travel long distances at great inconvenience and expense to receive their care. From routine check-ups, vacinations, dental and eye care to traditional healing methods and more specialized procedures, a variety of services can be provided by this care facility on wheels. The aim is to decrease the burden on northern residents while giving a new importance to the rail line itself. HTN is a showcase of Indigenous Art, each year sporting a new and inspiring paint scheme, continuously moving from community to community all year round.