Farquharson Life Sciences Building
This significant renovation to the Farquharson Life Sciences Building is an important step in elevating York’s Life Sciences program. The building, part of the university’s 1963 masterplan and constructed in 1965 as an integral research and teaching facility, has never undergone a major renovation. In 2016, in association with the Federal Government’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) initiative, York sought to update the research and teaching facilities, optimize flows, and create open, flexible laboratories.
Farquharson is one of three York buildings listed on the City of Toronto’s Historical Register.
The Farquharson Renovation project will encompass approximately 70,000 sf over 3-stories of the east wing and east side of the building, including significant changes to the teaching laboratories (Level 1) and post-graduate CL-2 research laboratories (Level 2 and 3), as well as creating a striking new main entrance to the building.
Internal circulation in the reorganized floors has been moved from its original location in the centre of the building to the perimeter, allowing natural light to penetrate through the corridors into the labs and support spaces on the deep floorplate, as well as allowing users views to the exterior and providing a sense of location when moving through the facility. The new “ballroom-style” research laboratories have been designed to reflect the existing structural modules, allowing either expansion or reduction of particular areas of the lab, if required, to accommodate changing programs.
New Entrance & Historical Commemoration
To further improve access to natural light within the building, maintain perimeter circulation, and accommodate required programme area, a glazed three-level addition was developed to enclose the existing recessed main entrance. The new main entrance provides a welcoming approach to the revitalized building, while the glazing allows a visual connection with the historically-listed concrete structure. The historical elements have been memorialized in various other ways within the building, including a plaque at the entrance which includes an image and information on the original building, changes to the floor materials and ceiling bulkheads to demonstrate where the original walls have been removed, and exposure of two side of the existing precast columns.
The $30M+ renovation will be completed by Summer 2018.