Completed facility in Toronto seamlessly combines facets of healthcare and education
St. Michael’s Hospital yesterday celebrated its new Keenan Research Centre and Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre. The two facilities are among the first in the world specifically designed to bring together researchers, educators and clinicians.
The nine-storey building designed by Jack Diamond, principal with Diamond and Schmitt Architects, is located adjacent to the hospital and connected by a striking 21m long (70ft) tubular glass and steel bridge whose form resembles a double helix.
“These facilities, collectively known as The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, put a public face to the important research work at St. Michael’s and will serve to bring a dynamic exchange of knowledge among researchers, educators, students and medical staff”, said Mr. Diamond.
The Keenan Research Centre is 25,200 sq m (271,300 sq ft) with three floors of flexible, open concept wet laboratories and two floors for dry lab study to meet a wide range of medical research programs. The centre houses 400 research staff and contains 1,414 m (4,640ft) of state-of-the-art laboratory benches.
The education component includes a library, classroom and meeting facilities. They are linked by multi-level lounges that sit atop the existing Victoria Lane and are connected by an elegant wishbone staircase, creating a focal point for informal encounters. A 200-seat raked auditorium doubles as a conference centre and lecture hall.
Design features include a glass curtainwall, which allows natural light to penetrate deep into the building. This serves not only to create an open and engaging workspace but also a visibly accessible connection into the world of medical research for the community at large.
Solar shading placed horizontally on the south façade and vertically on the west façade minimises heat gain and is made of glass instead of the typical metal shades so as not to impede the views to landmark buildings such as St. Michael’s Cathedral and Massey Hall. Other sustainable features include energy recovery systems on air handling units, reflective roofing, light sensors and a high use of recycled content in materials.