York University – Farquharson Life Sciences Building

Utility distribution strategy drives design

Science & Technology

Our major renovation of the 1965 Farquharson Life Sciences Building completely reconfigured interior spaces while retaining the heritage-protected Brutalist concrete and brick exterior. In conceptualizing a new, more efficient utility distribution strategy, we pulled the laboratories away from the outer walls and toward a new central utility spine, carefully threading new mechanical and electrical systems through the concrete building structure. We then pushed circulation corridors to the perimeter, isolating the controlled laboratory environments from the building envelope to reduce heating and cooling loads. Natural light and views are shared through glazed interior walls.

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Location
Toronto, ON
Client
York University
Completion
2018
Collaborators

Engineering Link Inc.
MCW Consultants Ltd.

DIALOG Services

Architecture
Interior Design
Laboratory Design

Our rethinking of the utility distribution network required the careful integration of new mechanical and electrical systems into the intricate concrete structure of the existing building.

We pushed circulation corridors from the centre of the floorplates to the perimeter, creating a dynamic buffer zone to isolate the controlled laboratory environments from the outer building envelope. Glass interior walls admit daylight and allow views to the outdoors.

  • As well as connecting laboratory users with the outside world, the glass interior walls provide clear sightlines for safety and security.

Durable materials and finishes withstand strong chemicals and rigorous cleaning regimens.

Open-plan laboratories with glazed partition walls create a bright and inviting environment.

The heritage-protected Brutalist facades of the original Farquharson Life Sciences Building.

The Team