The ingenious design of the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building combines four structurally distinct buildings into a single complex, integrating them together with three large atriums – the “lungs” of this living, breathing building. This signature building features a large, two-level open entrance, abundant natural light, and sloped walls at its base.
To create its iconic, cantilevered west façade, columns connected to each slab were offset, and set tight to the exterior curtain to leave corner boardroom spaces with unobstructed views. The design required a structural solution that combined individual elements, making them behave together as a single entity seismically. Glotman•Simpson integrated the building’s structural elements through the use of thin-link slabs. Less than 250 millimeters thick, these discrete concrete slabs were integrated into the overall design and are able to effectively transfer loads throughout the structure, while supporting the architect’s overall vision for the project. BIM modelling was a critical component to completing this fast-tracked project, challenging the Glotman•Simpson team to strike a working balance between modelling expectations and the demands of an accelerated project schedule.
With its combination of laboratory, teaching, research and public exhibit space, the UBC Pharmaceutical Building is able to bring the entire Pharmaceutical Sciences department under one roof for the first time in its history.
Images: © Bob Matheson