Learn about the facility

The Core Science Facility was designed by HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture Inc. It was built in three different construction phases. First Baraco completed the enabling work in 2015. Pomerleau then completed foundation work in 2016. Marco Services Limited completed the main building construction, which took place from April 2017 to August 2021.

Watch as the building took shape.


The Core Science Facility's global project budget was $325 million. Memorial contributed $200 million: $25 million from the Memorial University Matching Fund and $175 million from a borrowing program. The Government of Canada, through its New Building Canada Fund, provided support of $99.9 million with the remaining $25.1 million provided by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The building design was inspired by the natural characteristics of the province, particularly icebergs. The designers considered icebergs to be a beautiful floating piece of natural science, which had a direct impact on the building’s shape and colour. The natural science and engineering of an iceberg also embodies much of what will happen in terms of the research and learning inside the Core Science Facility.

The building has three tower block pavilions separated by two tall vertical atria spaces which focus on putting “Science on Display”, highlighted by a ground floor designed to be transparent and a stunning 75 foot blue whale skeleton, which hangs in the atrium. A large concourse on the north side serves as the main entrance lobby and the building is connected to the University Centre.

The total gross floor area is 480,000 square feet; covering research labs, teaching labs and other teaching and support spaces, including faculty and student collaboration space. Shell space (which is enclosed, but not finished) is also available for research partnerships with private industry.

Did you know?

Building facts:
  • Footprint is approximately the size of two standard NFL football fields
  • 912 exterior building precast panels weigh approximately 9.18M pounds
  • 3M pounds of sand and 1.5M pounds of cement used in precast panels
  • More than 400 electrical panels
  • Approximately 6,300 light fixtures
  • Just over 9,000 receptacles
  • Approximately 1.1M pounds of ductwork
  • Total tradesperson hours for the project was 1,882,409
  • Peak daily workforce on-site was 428 in Dec. 2019
  • Over 30 subcontractors were involved with the general contractor over the life of the project
Laboratory facts:
  • 3,500 lab fixtures
  • 190 fume hoods
  • 21 biosafety hoods
  • 380 height adjustable adaptable benches
  • 164 height adjustable electronic benches
  • 181 extractor arms (snorkels)
  • 3 km of usable countertop space
  • Over 300 tubes of caulking were used to install the countertops (that is over 4.5 km of ¼” beading)
  • Over 80,000 metal screws were used to install the lab product
  • Over 250 lab sinks