The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is the latest and greatest in research laboratories. The 21-story tower brings together hundreds of research and medical professionals under one roof, and it features an innovative, energy-efficient design and a flexible layout to encourage cooperation and communication. Toronto-based firm Diamond Schmitt Architects designed the center, which seeks to provide better pediatric medical care for children throughout Canada and the rest of the world.
Lead photo by Swire Chin
Diamond Schmitt and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) celebrated the opening of the Peter Gilgan Centre on September 17th. The large urban tower is devoted to medical research and especially pediatric care. The project provides a central location for 2,000 research staff who were previously spread out around the city. One of the project’s main goals was to create a collaborative work space so researchers working on different projects and in different departments could meet and work together.
The multi-story tower is arranged in ‘neighborhoods’ organized around a central atrium that encourages chance meetings. “Collaboration is at the heart of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning.” explains Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research, SickKids Research Institute. “The neighbourhood concept will bring scientists, clinicians and educators together to address the many problems of child health in new ways by sparking creativity, driving discovery and translating new findings into improved outcomes. Discoveries made here will impact not just SickKids patients and families, but child health locally, nationally and around the world.”
Daylighting plays a strong role in the design of the building – 90% of the offices, labs and spaces are illuminated by the sun. The exterior of the tower is clad in high-performance glazing with a horizontal graduated ceramic frit that provides thermal control while maximizing daylight. Diamond Schmitt designed and built the lab according to LEED Gold standards, for which the project is awaiting certification. The project also incorporates other energy-saving strategies, water-wise fixtures, recycling systems, and low-VOC materials.
Photos by Tom Arban and Swire Chin