Science Complex, Concordia University

Project Data

Location : Loyola Campus, Concordia University
Competition Date : 2000
In collaboration with : Atelier Big City, FGM, ARCOP, Associés Libres, & RAM
Cost of construction (est) : 58 000 000$


- Canadian Architect: Integrated Design Process (IDP) article by Danny Pearl

description of the project

As part of a diverse team, L’OEUF participated in the conceptual development of this recent competition entry and provided expertise in designing an environmentally sound building for Concordia University. The project can be summarized by three themes:


The proposed Pavillion fulfills the yearning to create the western quadrangle, the emblematic spatial and organizing device of the Loyola campus.
The QUAD is integral to the conception of the new building, folding around this outdoor room with a consistent and singular skin of brick, steel and glass and lined with public spaces, establishing a consistent orientation of the user to the landscape and the other buildings on the quadrangle.


Instead of articulating or fragmenting the building as a whole, we sought a more unique and singular expression. The skin is developed as a series of superimposed codes recognizing the diversity and instability of the programme. We have developed multiple combinations of building components and materials within a modular framework. The skin becomes a CODE for a particular set of circumstances – programmatic, organizational, technical, environmental – creating a particular exchange between inside and outside – of view, of air, of light, of landscape – the sum of which can be ‘read’ at a variety of different scales.


The new Science Pavilion is ‘alive’. It inhales. It exhales. It is porous. It draws on the plentiful energy from the sun and the earth. It converts and conserves energy. It varies with the seasons. Its metabolism informs and conditions both the plan and section of the building. The new Pavilion incorporates the quadrangle environmentally as the source of its system of natural ventilation, the trees providing filtering of fresh air and summer shading to the glazed trombe wall. Air is drawn in to the building near its south face in the quadrangle, warmed or cooled with geothermal and solar energy as well as humidified and filtered through the Bamboo Garden and then distributed through the building by the principles of displacement ventilation theory.
The south elevation of the quadrangle is designed as a trombe wall – a glass curtain wall superimposed over masonry with perimeter walkways to direct the fresh air into the adjacent offices or plenums. Excess hot air is expelled at the top of the cavity. In summer, the same principles would be used – directing the air instead up through the openings of the central corridor. Once pushed through to the laboratories, the air is exhausted after returning its thermal energy to a heat recovery system.