Project led by Eric Gordon and David Fox while employed at a previous firm
Behnisch Architekten; architectsAlliance
University of Toronto
Representing one of the university’s first initiatives to showcase 21st century sustainable design, the University of Toronto Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research provides cutting-edge facilities that foster a multi-disciplinary approach to biomedical and genetic research.
Located on a unique infill site that connects three existing, historic university buildings, the Centre is known for its indoor bamboo forests, visible from street level through an innovative double-glazed façade. The facility provides 12 floors of open lab research, meeting and office spaces, seminar rooms, a cafeteria, and informal and larger public assembly areas throughout.
Challenge: To create open plan, column-free flexible research space, and devise structural solutions for architecturally-exposed concrete framing.
Solution: A concrete beam and slab system was developed to provide a clear open plan lab space. The column grid was selected to suit the lab bench module, and the concrete beams were architecturally tapered in depth at the supports, allowing for shallower depths at mid span to maximize clear space available for services distribution.