Blusson Spinal Cord Centre (ICORD)

ICORD is interdisciplinary, international, and involved in every aspect of spinal cord injury, from neural mechanisms to new therapies and the design of new assistive devices. The six-level 110,000 sq.ft building strives to be the most accessible in the world, significantly exceeding building code requirements in order to place those in wheelchairs on equal ground with ambulatory people.  
This is embodied in an inspirational ramp that connects the human-based research floors (Levels 1 to 3). It makes a statement to both those in the building and on the street. It is also a gathering place for research subjects, researchers and others on the VGH campus. Bone structure, in particular, the spine, was inspirational in the expression of the building. This is most obvious at the entry canopy which incorporates spine/rib-like elements and curvature, inclusive of a light tube emulating the spinal cord. It extends to incline/atrium as the rib cage of the building with the backbone of the elevator core and even to the interlocking nature of the exterior wall. The facility is inspirational, connects people, and promotes wellness.

Location: Vancouver
Size: 110,000 sf
Client: Vancouver Coastal Health