The new Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Vancouver

Saucier and Perrotte break down the basic principles of a modern University

by Malcolm Clark
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The new Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / CDRD, designed by Canadian duo Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, is located on the edge of the Vancouver Campus. It aims to become its main gateway and an example of the University's capacity to attract international attention.

As never before, architecture can quickly travel around the world, thanks to networks, like archilovers, sharing images and designs. This creates problems of uniformity and standardisation and often we see the same idea repeated in all four corners of the globe. At the same time, however, this way of publicising architecture also brings other values (or should we say “by-products”) and is capable of promoting the architect, the city or the client that produced it.

With this in mind, the building was designed as a gateway to the south-east edge of campus, involving the community with a transparent and inviting ground floor that showcases the public functions of the building and with a movement of the upper floors that “talks about” the new things happening inside.

The concept is expressed in the idea of a tree whose foliage forms a sort of canopy floating above the ground. The natural form is then treated, shaped and reduced to a few volumes that slip over each other creating pleasant variations. The trunk that in this conceptual tree supports this foliage becomes an atrium filled with natural light that permeates the adjacent spaces (laboratories, offices, etc.).

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    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / CDRD 62

    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / CDRD

    Vancouver / Canada / 2012