Ocean Frontier Institute moves into new space at Memorial University

The Core Science Facility is a new, state-of-the art facility
June 18, 2024

The Ocean Frontier Institute’s (OFI) team in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador has moved into a new office and research space.

The Core Science Facility is a new, state-of-the art facility on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. Spanning more than 480,000 square feet, the building is equipped with high-tech labs, teaching spaces, and room for industry collaboration.

Designed by HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture Inc., the building is inspired by the large icebergs commonly found off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

To showcase real-life science, a 75-foot blue whale skeleton hangs on display in the building’s atrium. The skeleton has been named Altum, after Memorial’s motto Provehito in altum, or “Launch forth into the deep.” It was initially found on the west coast of the province and symbolizes the spirit of discovery that is central to the university.

The new Core Science Facility at Memorial University

The new OFI office space within the facility is approximately 12,000 square feet and contains:

  • two seminar rooms
  • three meeting rooms
  • a large student collaboration space
  • two smaller huddle rooms for student collaboration
  • a graduate student room
  • seven project offices.

“The space is spectacular,” says Dr. Paul Snelgrove, a MUN research professor and OFI’s associate scientific director. “We welcome faculty, students, and guests as they come together to co-create the ocean science and engineering solutions that society urgently needs.”

The new space will provide OFI researchers with many new resources and support further collaborative ocean exploration. The space was built with this sense of collaboration in mind. Any OFI researcher, student, or staff member involved in the Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier (SSDOF) or Transforming Climate Action (TCA) projects can use the space. The available facilities can be booked to host dissemination events, project meetings, and presentations.

“The Ocean Frontier Institute and its major initiatives are all about collaboration and transdisciplinary research,” says Dr. Snelgrove.

“We’ve eagerly awaited this space and the opportunity to bring people together to hatch ideas and create new knowledge about the ocean frontier, which is so important to the history, economy, and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

An open house was held on June 18, 2024, to welcome OFI and its researchers into the new space.

OFI researchers, staff, and other guests gather during the open house event on June 18