Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located on a large, flat, open site within the administrative sector of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield, the Central Laboratory (B-1) is a four-storey symmetrical structure in the Modern Classical style. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Central Laboratory (B-1) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Central Laboratory (B-1) is a very good example of a building associated with the expansion of the military during the Cold War. It is also associated with increased government spending on military research during that period. It was built to accommodate Defence Research Board laboratories for research for defence against chemical and biological warfare. The Central Laboratory (B-1) is also associated with the early development of the Suffield Experimental Station, one of several military research centres established by the Defence Research Board after the Second World War.
The Central Laboratory (B-1) is a very good example of a structure in the Modern Classical style favoured for government buildings during the 1950s. Classicism is expressed in the building’s symmetry and in the monumental entrance with its plastered portico. Modernism is evident in the building’s horizontal massing and fenestration, the flat roof, the stripped down simplicity of the pilasters and portico, and also the lack of decoration.
The Central Laboratory (B-1) reinforces the mid-20th century military character of the setting and is situated on a large, flat, open site within the administrative sector of CFB Suffield. Buildings of similar age and materials surround it. Central Laboratory (B-1) is well known within the base by virtue of its important research function and its role as Defence Research and Development Canada Suffield headquarters.
Source: Canadian Forces Base Suffield, Suffield, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 97-040
The following character-defining elements of the Central Laboratory (B-1) should be respected.
Its functional Classical Modern, form, construction and materials, for example:
- the large symmetrical massing of the front façade and its solid construction;
- the monumental central portico with simple, unadorned pilasters;
- the horizontal emphasis of its form, massing, bands of windows and brise-soleil;
- the flat roof and minimal decoration.
The manner in which the Central Laboratory (B-1) reinforces the mid-20th century military character of the setting as evidenced by:
- its prominent location on a large flat, open, grassed site served by paved parking lots and circumnavigated by paved access roads;
- its siting with similar buildings of compatible age, function and construction within CFB Suffield.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Residential Facility
Architect / Designer
Stevenson and Dewar Architects
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection