UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Vancouver B.C. ● Academic

The ingenious design of the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building combines four structurally distinct buildings into a single complex, integrating them together with two large atriums. The signature building features a large, two-level open entrance, abundant natural light and sloped walls at its base.

In order to create the iconic cantilevered west façade, the columns connecting to each slab were offset and set tight to the exterior curtain, thus creating boardroom spaces with unobstructed views. The design required a structural solution that combined individual elements and caused them to 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 maintaining the architects overall vision for the project.

BIM modelling was a critical component to completing this fast-tracked project. By utilizing BIM modelling, the Glotman Simpson team were able to strike a working balance between modeling expectations and the demands of an accelerated project schedule.

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building also addresses sustainability in several key areas, including building design and construction material. The two full-height atriums play a crucial role in channeling daylight to the interior, which offsets the need for artificial lighting. The atriums also act as the buildings “lungs” by balancing temperature and ventilation year-round. The facility is LEED Gold certified.

A vibrant node for science on the campus, the building features many informal learning spaces where students are able to meet. This cleverly constructed layout allows creative ideas to grow outside of classroom spaces and promotes new methods for individual and collaborative research.

By allowing for a combination of laboratory, teaching research and public exhibit space, the UBC Pharmaceutical Science building is able to bring the entire Pharmaceutical Sciences department under one roof for the first time in its history.