Strengthening interaction between interdisciplinary researchers
Named after the 1993 Nobel Laureate honoured for his discovery of how to map segments of DNA, the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC provide a workplace to 250 scientists dedicated to genomic research. The adjacent, naturally ventilated offices are separated by a central, skylit atrium – the centre of communal life in the building, providing space for informal interaction between researchers. A full width, two-storey high mural depicting 12 sequences of the DNA helix is visible from both the exterior front and interior offices, honouring Dr. Smith’s discovery.
A laboratory module was developed based on the requirements for the highest technological use of that space to accommodate a full range of procedures. This module became a basic laboratory building block that can be modified to suit the unique functional requirements of each research group. The laboratory space has been designed to facilitate the sharing of in-demand equipment wherever possible, providing ease of access to these shared utilities and advanced technologies. The design approach reflects the strong emphasis on interdisciplinary interaction and overlap of interest among the different user groups.