The project is commissioned in 2010 after a long process, and it gets completed in 2021. It is located at the heart of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It acts as a gateway to the university.
“The project addresses the social issue applied to urban scale, creating a research centre and inclusive learning. It is located at the university’s main pedestrian spine, and facades invite exploration, drawing people inside to learn about research activities”- Darron Haylock, Partners, Foster + Partners.
The major aim of the building is to attract exceptional scientists and foster the centre’s research activities within the wider community.
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for brain science is a new research facility within the Hebrew University of Jerusalem campus. It includes the design features such as flexible laborites arranged in the parallel wing around the central courtyard, which creates a soothing landscape through the citrus trees and water stream.
Its façade depicts the neurological brain structure drawn by Spanish Neuroscientist Santiago Ramon Y Cajal at the beginning of the 20th century.
The new research fraternity is dedicated to brain exploration and a mix of social space designed to cater to the scientific community and public. As it is located in the landscape, it becomes the Gateway to the university, which incorporates the principles of biomorphic architecture and creates social space.
Its progressive environmental strategies use passive techniques to reduce energy consumption and use local materials such as Jerusalem stone. The building is oriented in an east-west direction to minimize heat gain.
The central courtyard establishes the circulation within the campus and forms the cool microclimate using greenery and landscape associated with the water body.
Aluminium screens are used to shade the three levels whose pattern is derived from neurological brain structure. Translucent canopies are used in the east and west direction to provide passive cooling to the building.
The ground floor includes an auditorium with 200 seats, a library, a café, and a publicly accessible gallery that acts as a display gallery opens for the public to display if art is related to the brain.
The upper levels consist of around 28 laborites linked through the bridges, double as social hubs encourage informal interaction and exchange of ideas.
An overhanging steel structure tops the reinforced and post-tensioned concrete structures. The aluminium screens are mixed with Jerusalem Stone cladding to the interiors of the building.
The key to the design of Edmond and Lily Safra Center for brain science is its flexibility of the laborites, which is column-free due to post-tensioned Structure.
Regarding ongoing pandemic conditions, the building foretells the importance of health and well-being, including the design carried by the principle of biophilia.
The open spaces such as the central courtyard, open balconies, and circulation contribute towards a health research centre.