Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research

Published 10-31-2006
  • Cafeteria

    Photo courtesy of University of Toronto

  • Internal Gardens

    Photo courtesy of University of Toronto

  • Internal Stairs

    Photo courtesy of University of Toronto

  • Write-Up Space

    Photo courtesy of University of Toronto

  • Lab Interior

    Photo courtesy of University of Toronto

The Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR) is one of several new University of Toronto buildings to open in the city's medical and health sciences precinct. The Medical and Research Sciences (MaRS) building opened in August 2005 and the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building opened in September 2006.

The $92-million, 222,000-sf CCBR houses interdisciplinary genomics research including the fields of medicine, engineering, biology, and computer science. The facility is a greenhouse for Nobel laureates, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration in genome research. The building is designed to house between 35 and 40 faculty members and 500 students, post-doctoral fellows, and technicians.

Open plan laboratories are designed with benches that can be moved, relocated, removed, or raised or lowered. Utilities are strung from the ceiling and sinks are localized in one area. The 13-story building contains wet and dry laboratories, research offices, clustered faculty rooms, three seminar rooms, and mechanical operations on the seventh floor. The flexible and open research facility with a generic layout on each floor includes a number of sustainable design features including high-performance insulated glazing, double facade for winter and summer insulation, windows linked to HVAC shut-off switches, and separate mechanical systems for labs and offices to promote better air quality.

Internal staircases or communication passageways that connect the floors provide for easy interaction. The passageways encourage collaboration by including high-bar benches with power and data connections. All stairways lead off from the main corridor on one side of the building.

An impressive six-story internal garden and atrium is densely planted with bamboo reaching up to 30 feet high. Benches throughout the bamboo garden provide for a quiet and relaxing space. Three other internal gardens, planted with black olive trees, are located on other floors. Each floor contains a coffee bar.

Behnisch Architekten
HH Angus & Associates
Engineer - Electrical
HH Angus & Associates
Engineer - Mechanical
Yolles Partnership Ltd.
Engineer - Structural
Vanbots Construction Corp.
General Contractor
Laboratory Planning
Diana Gerrard
Landscape Architect