Robert H. N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital


Open to collaboration.

The Robert H. N. Ho Research Centre is a new seven-level, 65,000 square foot facility on the Vancouver General Hospital campus, an addition to the Jack Bell Research Centre, that will support advanced cross-disciplinary researchers from the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, OvCare and the Vancouver Prostate Centre. HDR | CEI was the Architect of Record and laboratory design and planners for the project. MCMP Architects designed the base building.

The design of the facility supports its function as a centre of advanced research, with extensive wet and dry laboratories, collaborative workspaces, private offices and meeting spaces. The metal and glass building envelope presents a contemporary face that evokes the technology and tools of modern science, but with a warmth conveyed through rounded edges throughout the structure.

Our design team worked closely with user groups to understand their workflow needs, and found that the researchers tended to work in isolated offices that did not support their need to collaborate and share ideas. We recommended a new integrated workspace model that provides opportunities for interaction while also respecting the need for private work. To communicate our vision to users we generated 3D models, visited other successful research facilities with similar plans, and re-defined what the traditional research-based workplace looked like. We also served as a facilitator between the furniture systems designer and user groups, helping to develop options that are flexible and adaptable, to support the important work of the researchers and clinicians.

Project Cost



65,000 sq ft


July 2011

Sustainable Features

  • Substantial daylighting provided by skylights above the full-height atrium
  • Natural light for offices on all floors
  • Spaces designed for maximum flexibility

“The finished product is spectacular on an aesthetic and functional level.”

Robert McMaster

Executive Director, Vancouver Coastal Health Research


Vancouver Coastal Health Authority


Vancouver, BC


Healthcare, Science & Technology