Facility

Perimeter Institute’s architecturally innovative building was designed with extensive input from scientists to optimize research, training, and scientific outreach activities. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, the 120,000-square-foot building comprises blackboard-lined think spaces, casual interaction areas, formal seminar rooms, and a welcoming bistro. With collaborative opportunities around every corner, Perimeter Institute’s home is an important contributor to the research culture within.

Main features:

  • 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2)
  • Space for up to 250 researchers and trainees
  • 11 designated scientific interaction areas for spontaneous, multidisciplinary research activity
  • 7 formal presentation spaces for Perimeter’s many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops, and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities
  • 205-seat Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas
  • Two-floor George Leibbrandt Library
  • Black Hole Bistro - providing meals and a meeting place for the whole Perimeter community
  • State-of-the-art IT infrastructure that supports visualization, analysis of complex calculations, and remote collaboration

Perimeter’s facilities have changed and grown significantly over its history. In 2001, research operations began in a converted historic post office building. In 2004, the first custom-built facility was opened. A deliberate marriage of form and function, it later won the national Governor General’s Medal for Architecture. Perimeter quickly outgrew this facility, and by 2011 opened a sizable expansion, the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute, which doubled the Institute's capacity to 250 researchers and trainees. Perimeter Institute is located on the edge of Silver Lake in the heart of Waterloo. Just an hour’s drive from Toronto, the city and surrounding region are home to two universities, a high-tech cluster of over 800 companies, and two performing arts centres. Perimeter borders Waterloo Park on one side, which offers 111 acres of prime parkland and indoor/ outdoor recreation facilities. On the other side is the fast-growing urban core of Waterloo, with cafés, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, galleries, and more. The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are both within a 10-minute walk.

About the Architects

Perimeter Institute’s custom-built facility was constructed in two phases. The first phase, finished in 2004, was designed by Montreal-based architects Saucier + Perrotte. The building was awarded the national Governor General’s Medal for Architecture in 2006. Perimeter’s second phase, finished in 2011, was designed by Toronto-based Teeple Architects to accommodate the growth of Perimeter’s research, training, and outreach activities.

Green Approach

The Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute is on track to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for environmental sustainability. With locally sourced building materials, energy conservation measures, use of green roofs and other eco-friendly features, the new expansion is not only a bold architectural design but is a physical testament to Perimeter Institute’s environmental stewardship.  

Designed from from first principles to facilitate basic research and discovery.