Carleton University’s new Health Sciences Building is a state-of-the-art facility designed to support pioneering programs in interdisciplinary health education and research. Its unique configuration is derived in large part from a desire to optimize the location between engineering systems and program spaces to stimulate a holistic, collaborative approach to learning.

The building’s most public functions, including a 350-seat lecture theatre and casual student study areas, are located on the ground floor. Upper floors accommodate program-specific spaces, including heavy wet labs, imaging suites and a vivarium. Mechanical and electrical services sit in a multilevel bay vertically stacked along the west facade so as to service program spaces through a unique horizontal distribution system. This allows lab benches to be free of vertical service chases and organized in unobstructed bands in the middle of the floorplate. Benches feed into open collaborative workstations/write up spaces and glass enclosed, acoustically sensitive teaching/presentation spaces that line the perimeter.

Building massing reflects the orthogonal geometry that dominates West Campus while its compact footprint responds to context and site in a number of unique ways. A large porch wraps around the ground floor and opens out towards Campus Avenue to the east, the future entry quad to the north, and the River Building to the south. A glazed link connects Steacie building to the west. Together, these features weave the building into the larger campus fabric and promote Carleton’s mandate to maintain a pedestrian-centric environment.

The building targeting five green globes.

Montgomery Sisam + NXL Architects Architects in Association


Completion Date:


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Building Size:

120,000 sq. ft.

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