Beaty Biodiversity Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory / Patkau Architects

  • 01:00 - 11 April, 2012
Beaty Biodiversity Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory / Patkau Architects, © James Dow
© James Dow
  • Architects

  • Location

    2329 W Mall, Greater Vancouver A, BC V6T, Canada
  • Architects

    Patkau Architects
  • Project Team

    Greg Boothroyd, Michael Cunningham, Joanne Gates, Samantha Hayes, Maureen Kwong, Thomas Lee, Davis Marques, Patrick O'Sullivan, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, David Shone
  • Mechanical And Sustainability

    Cobalt Engineering
  • Building Envelope

    Spratt Emanuel Engineering Ltd.
  • Mechanica And Sustainability

    Cobalt Engineering (formerly VEL Engineering)
  • Client

    University of British Columbia
  • Electrical

    Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Laboratory

    Maples Argo Architects
  • Code

    Gage-Babcock & Associates
  • Construction Manager

    Bird Construction
  • Model Makers

    Oliver Birett, Anike Duffner, Gregory Graemiger, Julianne Heinrich, Craig Simms, Christian Schulte, Jan Rasche, Tokimi Ota
  • Area

    11500.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow +26

From the architect. The Beaty Biodiversity Center and the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory are located on Main Mall, the central north/south spine of the University of British Columbia. Together they form a complex of related environmental science functions; a new campus precinct organized around a generous exterior courtyard space which is bisected by new cross-campus pedestrian and bicycle connections.

© James Dow
© James Dow

The principal exhibition space of the museum located within the Beaty Biodiversity Center is a glass “lantern” featuring an enormous skeleton of a Blue Whale creating a public face for the complex towards the Mall.  Follow the break for drawings and photographs.

© James Dow
© James Dow

The Beaty Biodiversity Center comprises a natural history museum, a large natural history collection, research laboratories and offices with related meeting and support spaces. This 11,500 square meter facility is organized around three sides of the courtyard space, with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum occupying the west side along Main Mall.

© James Dow
© James Dow

The principal exhibition space of the museum is a glass “lantern” within which an enormous skeleton of a Blue Whale is displayed creating a public face for the complex towards the Mall. The extensive natural history collections, located beneath the central courtyard, are accessible directly from this exhibition space. Research laboratories and offices occupy the remaining south and east sides of the project. The laboratories are organized in a regular manner along the east outer edge of the project while the offices and meeting spaces are organized more casually around the courtyard to foster a sense of academic community. An open stair, located on the courtyard edge of the office and meeting spaces threads through the project to vertically interconnect informal social spaces.

© James Dow
© James Dow

The Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory is located on the northern side of the courtyard. This 5,150 square meter building consolidates interdisciplinary research groups around an atrium that interconnects the four floors of the building. Social spaces are located adjacent to this atrium to reinforce a sense of academic community and to encourage serendipitous interaction between faculty, students and the various research units. Faculty offices, loft spaces / digital laboratories for the student community and a variety of meeting spaces are located on the upper floors, while the large public rooms are located on the ground floor where they participate in the urban life of the campus.

© James Dow
© James Dow

The atrium plays a key role in the sustainable design strategies employed in the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory. Glazed at the top to bring day-light deep into the interior it combines with generous glazing on the north side of the building and photo sensor controls to minimize dependency on artificial lighting. The atrium also acts as a natural ventilation stack that pulls air into the building, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical ventilation system. On summer nights the building is naturally ventilated to cool the concrete structure, which acts as a radiant cooling surface during the day, eliminating the need for air conditioning for the three upper floors. The Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory is certified LEED Gold.

© James Dow
© James Dow

Project Team: Tyler Brown, Bradley Cooper, Sebastian Cramer, Michael Cunningham, Christina Gray, Samantha Hayes, Dimitri Koubatis, Maureen Kwong, Michael Leckie, Hector Lo, Ricardo Cuesta Moya, Shane O’Neill, Patrick O’Sullivan, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Thomas Schroeder, David Shone, Craig Simms, Peter Suter, Michael Thorpe, Jinyong Yum

© James Dow
© James Dow
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Beaty Biodiversity Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory / Patkau Architects" 11 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>