The original building to house the Department of Physics, The Foster Radiation Laboratory and Cyclotron (named after McGill physicist John Stuart Foster), was built by the architectural firm Fetherstonhaugh, Durnford, Bolton and Chadwick in 1948.
In 1996, the building was demolished to make way for the new Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences building, funded by M.H. Wong, architect and McGill alumnus. The original Foster Lab from the 1950’s building was kept in the new design, occupying four storeys of the building. Other components of the building include the north Foster wing, which adds another six storeys to the structure. The Foster wing, used as offices, has had classrooms and labs added to both its west side and the top of the building, designated for Metallurgical Engineering labs.