The MacNaughton Building was named for Earl B. MacNaughton, who had been instrumental in redesigning the physics curriculum and promoting research. He became the Head of Physics in 1956 and Dean of the College of Physical Science (1970-1981).
A major presence on Branion Plaza, the MacNaughton Building is a tour-de-force of architectural concrete work. The architect, Eberhard Zeidler, is known for Toronto Eaton’s Centre, Ontario Place and McMaster Health Sciences Centre. As one of his first university commissions, the building was featured on the cover of Architectural Record, a prominent architectural magazine (May, 1972 issue).
Mainly a laboratory and lecture hall complex for chemistry, physics and mathematics, the building also, purposely, houses the campus bookstore and a coffee shop to contribute to the urban character of Branion Plaza.