Beautiful buildings that work

Beautiful buildings that work – that’s Jack Diamond’s architectural philosophy

Jack Diamond's philosophy is clearly evident in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, that together comprise the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

Mr. Diamond notes his buildings must fit into their context: they are rarely urban islands, but rather integral elements of the city. The new building for St. Michael’s posed a challenge in that it was essentially two buildings on different-sized lots that had to come together harmoniously, while preserving the city lane that separates the two sides.

The aim of the design of the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre is to represent the exceptional healthcare that St. Michael’s provides and to create the spaces equal to the quality of research and care that is the hallmark of this great institution.
– Jack Diamond
Founder
Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated

The transcending mission of the design is to enhance the interaction between the clinical and research aspects of healthcare. So instead of viewing the lane as dividing the two wings, Mr. Diamond integrated them via a series of two-storey lounges that span the lane. It is also in this location that the bridge from the Hospital enters the building, and where the wishbone stair contributes to this confluence of movement. This positioning allows for informal contact, which is an essential element supporting the convergence of research and clinical care. The graceful bridge across Shuter Street literally and symbolically connects research and education with patient care.

The building exterior features glass “blinds” that will help reduce glare from the sun and save energy costs. Standing inside the building, the dominant sense is the abundance of natural light and the extraordinary views of the neighbouring historical buildings such as St. Michael’s Cathedral to the east.

“The aim of the design of the Keenan Research Centre and Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre is to represent the exceptional healthcare that St. Michael’s provides and to create the spaces equal to the quality of research and care that is the hallmark of this great institution,” Mr. Diamond says.

Jack Diamond founded Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated in 1975.