UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Location

    Vancouver, BC

UBC’s pharmaceutical science researchers, faculty, and University programs are recognized internationally for their achievements. Their research, teaching and office facility reflects this international reputation, providing UBC with a state-of-the-art building which promotes creativity and collaboration and welcomes the campus community in via an open and inviting lobby.

This project is a joint venture between Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and hcma.

Community Impact

We are so lucky to have such a spectacular building to enjoy and work in. Thank you for giving us such a treasure. Our Faculty is committed to innovation in learning, research and practice to inspire wellness and health outcomes. Our new building’s collaborative learning and research infrastructure will greatly increase our capacity to lead the world in pharmaceutical sciences and create an environment that challenges our students address real world health issues.

, Dean - UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Design Challenge

UBC sought a world-class, iconic facility to house both their Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Centre for Drug Research and Development. Located at an important entry point to the campus, the design needed to reflect the faculty’s international reputation and to showcase its important public function. To achieve this, the design team needed to engage a complex stakeholder group, meet rigorous technical requirements and complete the project within an aggressive schedule.


When replacing an aging facility, UBC Properties Trust envisioned a building which would successfully contribute to UBC’s legacy of architecture and pharmaceutical research. They requested a signature building that will become the standard by which future education and high-level research buildings will be measured — both in Canada and abroad.


Design Response

The striking design provides enjoyable, livable spaces for research and learning, creating public and private spaces that support collaboration and the exchange of ideas — both social and intellectual. Its unconventional layout affords students and researchers opportunities that traditional university buildings have not. A vibrant node for science on the campus, the building is intended to promote creativity and new methods for individual and collaborative research, with many informal learning spaces where students can meet and creative ideas can grow outside of the classroom spaces.

Smaller, problem-based learning rooms and informal lounge and study spaces next to circulation areas and classrooms support the activities of the larger learning spaces. Informal spaces programmed with flexible furniture and power arrangements to support collaborative learning efforts. Overlook opportunities between offices and teaching spaces: glazed walls allow educators to have visual contact from their offices with students working in classroom and lab spaces.

  • Completion


  • Size

    27,311 m2

  • Award

    RAIC Governor General's Medals in Architecture 2014

  • Award

    Architizer A+ Awards 2013

  • Award

    Lieutenant Governor of BC Awards for Architecture 2013

  • Award

    Ontario Association of Architects Awards - Design Excellence 2013

Design Process

On both counts of liveability and architectural expressiveness, this project brings a human dimension to a highly technical program.

Juror Comment, 2014 RAIC Governor General’s Medals in Architecture