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The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning

Diamond Schmitt Architects

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DiamondSchmittArchitects, Diamond Schmitt Architects

Project Name

The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning


686 Bay Street

M5G 0A4

Project Status


Year Completed



750,000 sq. feet


The Hospital for Sick Children

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Project Description

The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto brings together under one roof 2000 researchers and staff previously dispersed throughout six buildings. At 750,000 sq ft, the 21-storey laboratory is the largest child health research tower in the world and among the largest laboratories in the high-rise form.
The building is designed to facilitate collaboration, informal encounter and education. Six thematic research neighborhoods with open two- and three-storey collaborative spaces are central to the design solution. The first three floors of The Gilgan Centre house the Learning Concourse with conference and education facilities.
The tower has been designed with a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, targeting LEED Gold certification.
The Gilgan Centre represents a new typology for laboratories in the high-rise form. The labs are configured for maximum flexibility and can switch from wet to dry lab as required.
The colour patterning of the building’s glass panels creates a mosaic design likened to the Northern Lights. This contrasts the clarity of the vision glass in the bay windows and the lower level Learning Concourse. Together, these visual elements enhance the Gilgan Centre’s identity, projecting a beacon of distinct colour and luminosity that reinforces the Hospital’s role in the city and on the city skyline.
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