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Science & Technology, Education | Western Canada

University of British Columbia, School of Biomedical Engineering

Vancouver, British Columbia (in partnership with Patkau Architects)

The UBC School of Biomedical Engineering envisions a future where biological and engineering fundamentals are applied seamlessly to the discovery, design, and development of transformative technological solutions that address problems in patient health and quality of life. The SBME program combines both research and learning functions within a single building. Key program components include laboratories, offices, administration, lecture halls, and an assortment of design-project related spaces.

The research functions are located in the upper floors of the building where north-facing laboratories benefit from diffuse north light, the ideal daylight condition for long research hours. Opposite the laboratories, the south-facing offices beneft from the generous canopies of the London Plane trees and relate to the smaller scale of the Health Sciences precinct. A top-lit common space connects the research floors, forming the social heart of the space.

The second floor of the building, at the base of the research common space, has mixed functions including a teaching lab, shared research facilities, project rooms, and administration. The common space and adjacent project rooms work together to create a space for collaboration for graduate, undergraduate, and interdisciplinary research projects. The remaining learning functions are located in the lower floors of the building, allowing the larger undergraduate population to circulate to and from the building separately from the research areas above. At grade, the north and south building entrances open on to a two-story learning common space. Opening directly onto this space at grade are design studios, maker spaces, and a classroom. Two lecture halls are below grade, where they can take full advantage of the generous adjacent floor area as a between-class foyer and informal gathering space. This two-storey common space, its grand stair, and the adjacent large rooms also provide the SBME with an ideal space for large-scale gatherings