The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building

Front facade

 The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, residing on the corner of College and University Streets, was completed September 2006 in a joint venture between Foster + Partners and Cannon Design, for a total of seventy five million dollars (Foss). The building consists of three main parts; a colonnaded central lobby space five stories tall, an overhanging graduate and research facility seven stories tall, and an underground area for classrooms and lecture halls (Davids, René, Killory, Christine 68). Minimalist and modernist styles were used in the representation of the building, and are accentuated by a strong sense of verticality and horizontality both inside and out. Strong organized detailing is intentionally offset by abstract forms, such as the cylindrical columns on the exterior and two free hanging ‘orbs’ containing small classrooms inside the lobby (Foster + Partners). Light plays an intricate part in the design as well. The full twelve stories are permeated by a colossal atrium that delivers light into the lowest places of the building. At night, the lobby comes alive in a lightshow displayed on the two orbs from theatrical lights hung from mullions (McKeough). As the building is situated at the far south

One of the floating pods

eastern corner of the campus, it plays the role of a gateway to the university. This is achieved by clever melding of the two very dsconnected architectural styles of historical and modernist architecture which run along both sides of College Street, and lessening the tension between them. While the pharmacy building appears to be somewhat orthodox and commonplace, a clever use of space and form, solids and voids, playing with light and careful attention to the site, make this building an architectural masterpiece.

Works Cited:

Davids, René , Killory, Christine; . Detail in Progress. 2. Princeton Architectural Press,

          2008. 68-77. Print.

Foss, Krista. “An Esthetic Marvel.” U of T Magazine (2006): Web. 11 Oct 2010.     


Foster + Partners, . “Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, University of Toronto Toronto,

          Canada, 2002-2006.” Foster + Partners. Web. 11 Oct 2010.


McKeough, Tim. “The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building.” Architectural Record. Web. 11

            Oct 2010.


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