Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building

The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, constructed in 2006, gracefully stands at the corner of College Street and University Avenue at 144 College Street. Currently, the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building is the home to the Pharmacy Faculty of the University of Toronto (St. George campus). This building was designed by the renown architectural firm Foster+Partners, and is the first Foster building ever made in Canada. Previous to the construction of this building, the research labs, administrative office and educational facilities were dispersed throughout the campus. There was also a pressing need for profession graduates in the pharmaceutical field, thus the size of the faculty had rapidly multiplied. As a result, the Pharmacy Faculty had no choice but to expand their facilities. The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building was created solely to accommodate the growing numbers and to provide the Pharmacy Faculty with its own home. The goal with the design of this new building was to create a more cohesive synergy among the students and researchers within the design. The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building consists of two visible forms with three functional spaces stacked on top of each other. The site area was very small, thus the best solution was to build upwards. There is an underground basement, a 5-story entrance level lobby surrounded by twelve 19-meter high columns, a 7-story research and office space which sits on top of the columns and a vertical void which connects all the forms together. Suspended in the centre of the entrance level atrium space, are two circular pods which serve as lecture spaces. The tops of these pods are carved in, and additional student and staff lounges are formed. These suspended steel pods seem to defy gravity; and at night, a rainbow of colours are casted onto these pods, creating a theatrical atmosphere and illuminating the entire atrium. Along with the soft concrete columns on the entrance level, these circular orbs create a contrast against the sleek, glass facades and the rectilinear geometries of these boxes. It was also very important to address the adjacent historical buildings, while celebrating the construction of this new state-of-the art facility at the same time. To solve this problem, “the bottom of the new building will be transparent so that the older buildings will be visible through the lobby, says David Nelson of Foster and Partners.” (Megan Easton) The architect celebrates not only the presence of this new facility, but also the relationships to its adjacent buildings, and its urban context. The building was renamed the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in 2001 in honour of the generous donation made by Leslie Dan, an alumni of the school. However, ‘till this day, this building continues to serve as a home for the Pharmacy Faculty of the University of Toronto.

Sources Used:
Megan Easton. “Class Structures: Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building.” UofTMagazine. 2003. 17 September          2010.                 <http://www.magazine.utoronto.ca/feature/plan-for-leslie-l-dan-pharmacy-building/&gt;

Carter, Brian. “Pod Mod.” AZURE July/August 2006: 71-74. Print.

“Our History.” pharmacy.utoronto.ca. Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, n.d. Web.n.d.

Richards, Larry Wayne.  University of Toronto. New York: 2009.

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