The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at Hebrew University, considered one of the leading centers for neuroscience research worldwide, will soon be housed in a state-of-the-art building designed to reflect the institution’s role as a world class facility.
British firm Foster + Partners, in collaboration with YBGSNA, was tasked with manifesting the center’s mission of interdisciplinary creativity and interaction. To achieve this, a 10,500 sqm. structure was designed to connect parallel wings that house 28 laboratories with ‘social hubs’ that allow for the free flow of ideas. Additional elements not commonly associated with a research institution – like an art gallery – further add to the cultural dimension of the space.
Part of the building’s demonstration of human achievement is embodied in its sustainable construction. Situated east to west, the daily solar gain is kept to a minimum. A metal screen (meant to evoke neural framework) envelopes the structure, providing shade and reducing heat. Passive cooling is supplied through a retractable plastic canopy over the atrium. A series of citrus trees and a water feature complete the microclimate.
Additional building features include a 200-seat auditorium, a library, and a café.
With the first pieces of the façade placed, construction is well underway.