This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the Higher Education & Research Facilities category. See the full list of winners here.
The sleek Pharmaceutical Sciences building at the University of British Columbia provides a new state-of-the-art home to an internationally recognized research hub. Designed by Saucier + Perrotte with HCMA, the UBC Pharmaceutical Science Building captured the imagination—and votes—of the public, clinching an Architizer A+ Award in the hotly contested category of higher education and research facilities. Design leader Gilles Saucier says the team conceived of the project as a gateway to the campus that showcases sustainability “in a way that harmonizes with and preserves, rather than compromises, the specific design intentions.” Read more!
Seeming to erupt from the ground in an exuberant display of machined organicism, the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences building is heavily indebted to nature for its initial design intent. “The concept stems from the idea of trees whose branch system forms a canopy floating above the ground,” says Saucier. “As this organic network is abstracted, it is given tectonic manifestation, and the architecture takes on a more geometric form.”
Clusters of glass cubes projecting varying distances from the facade produce a striking visual approach to the complex. For the architects, creating many distinct spatial experiences for visitors and users was of paramount importance. “Each space is a highlight in its own right, especially when one experiences the light that filters through the building’s spaces by means of the large atria,” says Saucier. “The goal was for the building to not only be functional, comfortable, and inspiring, but also to reflect the faculty’s world-class pharmaceutical researchers and the university’s status as an internationally recognized institution in scientific endeavors.”
The resulting structure emanates an aura of precise detailing and immaculate craftsmanship, which is all the more impressive because of the tight timeline. Careful coordination and collaboration allowed the building to not only rise on time, but to quickly create an iconic landmark for the university. The technical and systemic expertise of the architects resulted in the building achieving LEED Gold certification for sustainable design. Understandably proud of the lauded result, Gilles Saucier adds: “The building can be an example on the campus for sustainable development while encompassing the bold architectural vision that we had for university.”
Images courtesy Saucier + Perrotte Architectes