An extension of the hospital at the University of British Columbia, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health was built to address the pressing need for increased research and treatment facilities pertaining to neuroscience and mental health.

Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientUBC Properties Trust
  • ArchitectStantec
  • Size150,000 ft² (13,935 m²)
  • BudgetC$44 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesTargets LEED Gold

The five-storey centre includes two dedicated floors of patient-centered clinic space, while the upper three floors are used for research into Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases, mood disorders, multiple sclerosis and other brain-related illnesses. A basement level contains a lecture theatre and state-of-the-art brain imaging facility.

The design of the medical facility was inspired by brain synapses – the firing electrical impulses which transport and coordinate information to all parts of the brain. Fast + Epp came up with a structural solution consisting of a cast-in-place concrete flat slab with columns and shearwall construction, capped off with an expressive feature atrium and entrance canopy. Exterior cladding is a mixture of masonry, metal, and extensive window glazing (featuring artwork depicting two types of brain cells). A basement tunnel and sky bridge connect the facility to a neighbouring hospital pavillion.

The new facility is expected to accelerate the research and clinical expertise in neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology, to gain insights that can be used to improve treatment and prevention strategies across the world.