The form and architectural solution of the expansion of the existing renowned research facility focused on the creation of unified whole that expresses in architectural terms the cutting edge research of the scientists through transparency, continuity, and the making of new spaces for collaboration.
A severely constrained site as well as the presence of the iconic, award-winning existing Perimeter building meant that the project team had to work diligently to ensure the expansion would respectfully compliment and enhance the existing facility. The new expansion building interacts seamlessly with the building and heightens the pedestrian experience of the surrounding landscape.
The design strategy focused on minimizing impact on the site; the overall size of the institute is double with only a minimally increased footprint. The expansion is set on former landfill and introduces no new parking. Deep floor plates are avoided through the extensive introduction via courtyards and clerestories of daylight. The existing boiler and refrigerant cooling systems are employed to generate heating and cooling through in-floor radiant heating, and VRF air systems. The walls of the existing building were reused and integrated as interior elements.
The client group fosters innovation and research in theoretical physics through a dedication to dialogue and collaboration: the expansion building’s communal and transitional areas maximize the capability for the research scientists to meet and interact outside of offices or classrooms. Classrooms, offices and formal presentation rooms are equipped with the latest IT infrastructure to support and promote constant communication with the other research communities around the world.
The architecture, experience and connectivity of the Stephen Hawking Center expresses and functionally enables the vision of Perimeter Institute to continue to be a frontrunner in the practice of theoretical physics. It sets an architectural benchmark for the design of buildings that foster knowledge creation and cutting-edge thought.