During my recent trip to Toronto to attend IIDEX, I took part in a tour of the new Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. Located in downtown Toronto, the new facility will be home to more than 2,000 scientists and features state-of-the-art laboratories and learning facilities that are designed to support collaborative work. The 750,000-square-foot building is believed to be the largest child health research tower in the world.
The hospital is divided into six research neighborhoods, each spanning two or three floors. The pièce de résistance of the 21-story project are the atrium spaces that connect the floors of each neighborhood. Curvilinear glass by windows provide stunning views of the Toronto skyline and allow for natural light to flood the space.
The wave-like glass bay windows are a defining feature of the facade.
The collaborative spaces inside the neighborhood atriums encourage researchers to interact. The staff was previously housed in six separate buildings before the opening of the new research center.
Flexible laboratory space was an important element of the design, which needed to accommodate a diverse range of research needs.
A 250-seat auditorium features teleconferencing equipment for distance learning.