Life Sciences Complex

“The McGill University Life Sciences Complex will support the very best researchers and scientists with the very best facilities and tools.”

Heather Munroe-Blum, OC., Former Principal and Vice Chancellor

The Life Sciences Complex at McGill University is designed to encourage interdisciplinary learning by bringing some of the world’s key scientific talent under one roof, speeding the process of translating discoveries into treatments and cures.  The Complex encompasses two new facilities, the Francesco Bellini Life Sciences Building and the Cancer Research Building, as well as the existing McIntyre Medical Sciences and Stewart Biological Sciences buildings.

Two volumes interlock on the site, each with its own research program identity. Subtle variations of expression are used to distinguish one from the other based on exposure, interior program or composition. To emphasize the discrete nature of each material, special attention was paid to the junction between them. The transition from glass to zinc is flush and the curtain wall glazing is either capless or creates solar shading through the use of razor sharp horizontal mullion extensions. In juxtaposition to the light volumetric expression, the base is clad in ironspot, black brick, echoing the Canadian Shield granite within which it rests.

Internally the Complex is organized into three distinct components: customizable wet and dry bench laboratories and local support spaces; highly flexible stacked core equipment spaces; and a centre for disease modeling with a CL3 (Containment Level 3) lab facility.

Integrating the existing buildings with the new structures eliminates the physical separation of researchers and creates innovative spaces designed to encourage different disciplines to work more closely together in achieving scientific breakthroughs and developing new medical treatments.

Client McGill University
Completion 2008
Sustainability LEED Gold Certified

In Joint Venture with Provencher Roy et Associes Architectes
Photography Tom Arban

Awards See all project awards
2010 National Urban Design Awards, RAIC, CIP and CSLA – Award of Merit
Team See full project team