A gleaming faceted crystal seems to emerge from the ground, semi- weightless; the portion above ground is floating, while the gem’s terrestrial portion is carried by a wave of lava. The initial concepts stems from the image of trees uniting to form a sidereal canopy. On this astounding yet ethereal mass, cubic elements of variable geometry are powerfully incorporated in a highly skilled, nearly divine architectural gesture. Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and Hughes Condon Marler Architects achieved a masterstroke, offering UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science a design that reflects the University’s status as an internationally recognized institution in scientific endeavors. Thus, in 2013, in addition to receiving the Award of Excellence in Architecture of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, the firm wins the Educational Institution Award of the GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN.
The cluster of cubic spaces instigates the exchange of ideas, team synergy, and the freedom of research indispensable to the development of science. The vast circulation areas on ground level and upstairs incorporate a breathtaking exhibition space; it is a place of encounter for faculty, researchers, students and the public. In the massive lobby, a majestic tectonic movement is deployed; wood against stone, slate against concrete, like the magma of a thought erupting in all its power.
With a play on dynamic fusion/elevation, obscurity/illumination, massive/ ethereal, the design is perfectly aligned with the institution’s vocation.