Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)

bbp vgh robert ho research centre exterior

HDR and MCMP Architects


Vancouver, BC






6,440 m²



The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre provides leading research teams with a world-class laboratory facility on the Vancouver General Hospital campus.

This seven-storey addition to the existing Jack Bell Laboratory at the VGH campus is a concrete and steel structure accommodating both wet and dry laboratories, collaborative workspaces, offices, and meeting spaces for research scientists, clinicians, trainees and staff. A full height atrium connects the two buildings while also providing light-filled informal gathering spaces and interdisciplinary exchange opportunities. Drawings were fully detailed using 3-D Revit software integrated with construction costing and management.

The six-storey atrium was positioned adjacent to the existing five-storey Jack Bell Research Centre. As the two facilities needed to be seismically separated, a one-storey glazing wall was hung from the new atrium roof framing with appropriately detailed gaps to allow vertical and lateral movement between the new and existing structure. The atrium framing was constructed from structural steel and supported by steel HSS columns in both the atrium and the concrete building. Lateral wind and seismic forces are resisted by cast-in-place ductile concrete central core consisting of the elevators, washrooms and service rooms. Given the building’s rectangular shape and the interface with the existing adjacent building, torsional displacement concerns were addressed by providing an appropriately stiff core and careful detailing of building interfaces. The feature entrance canopy consists of a structural steel flat plate construction supported by a series of cantilevered HSS columns. The flat plate was folded to provide slopes for drainage, and the drain system was hidden within the HSS columns to give it a clean appearance.

By providing excellent research facilities, this addition to the VGH campus adds immense value to the hospital’s lifesaving and early disease prevention pursuits.

Project Images

bbp vgh robert ho research centre stairwell
bbp vgh robert ho research centre atrium
bbp vgh robert ho research centre lab
bbp vgh robert ho research centre exterior 2