Scientific and architectural landmark opens at the University of Toronto

A new era of discovery in the prevention and treatment of disease has begun as the University of Toronto officially opens the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research on Thursday, November 3 at 12:15pm at 160 College Street.

The centre will foster collaborative and interdisciplinary biomedical research, building on the success of the human genome project. Researchers from several faculties – Medicine, Pharmacy, Applied Science and Engineering, and Arts and Science – will come together in state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching facilities on 10 open-concept floors to identify both the cause and cure of disease.

The $105-million project was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario government, the university’s infrastructure investment fund and the support of private donors. Designed by Behnisch, Behnisch and Partner of Stuttgart in partnership with architectsAlliance of Toronto, the 20,550-square-metre facility signals a strong presence to the city’s Discovery District and affirms the university’s commitment to basic scientific research.

The Donnelly CCBR has a number of features as uniqueas the research within. The building was engineered with cast-in-place concrete and its glass cladding is both functional and decorative. An unusual double glass faade provides natural and passive ventilation for researchers’ offices, a design approach common in Europe but relatively unknown in Canada. A soaring bamboo-planted atrium links the centre to adjoining buildings. Three-storey gardens with trees as high as 12 metres connect every third floor while the 10 open-concept floors are designed to encourage casual and spontaneous interaction between researchers. Prominent on the extended forecourt is the Spirit of Discovery, a bronze sculpture by Veronica and Edwin Dam De Nogalesof Highgate, Ont.

Professor David Naylor, president of the University of Toronto, will welcome guests including Rose Patten, chair of Governing Council, Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, David Bogart, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Ontario Innovation Trust and lead donor Terrence Donnelly. Student-guided tours will follow the formal remarks.