Hospital for Sick Kids Research Tower, Toronto. Image courtesy Diamond and Schmitt Architects
Shovels went into the ground this month on a new 21-storey research tower for the famous Hospital for Sick children (Sick Kids) in downtown Toronto.
The 750,000-sq. ft., $400-million new tower is at the corner of Bay and Elm Street . It will be connected by elevated walkway to the hospital’s wing on Elizabeth Street. Two thousands staff will work there, with the researchers accommodated in seven research “neighbourhoods” that span two and three floors each. These neighbourhoods are connected by atriums, staircases and lounges.
Donald Schmitt, principal architect in charge of the project for Diamond and Schmitt Architects, explains that the neighbourhoods are intended to facilitate interaction among researchers within the high rise tower form.
The building is also meant to be accessible and visible to the public. The first three floors include an amphitheatre-style auditorium, conference rooms and public space. “The idea is that research done upstairs comes down to the street for presentation, review and discussion,” says Schmitt.
Consulting engineers include Halcrow Yolles (structural), H.H. Angus (mechanical-electrical), MMM Group (civil) and Cobalt (LEED).
The tower is being designed for LEED gold certification. Its sustainable aspects include the use of construction supplies from local sources and wood from sustainable forests, rainwater harvesting for washroom fixtures and landscaping, solid wall assemblies with insulation to R20 level, and daylight and occupancy sensors for energy savings.