The evolution of architecture and design has been growing exponentially with time. Be it in terms of construction techniques, the design idea, or even the elements used for the designing of a particular building. Evolution can very well be reflected in the built environment around us. One of the examples of such an advancement in architecture can be witnessed in the works by the Bjarke Ingels Group, an architecture firm based in Denmark. This firm has designed many amazing projects that have left an imprint on the sands of time. One of such projects by BIG is the Danish neuroscience centre, as a part of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. 

Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet1
Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark_©archello.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/images/2019/12/20/1DNU-13-photo-Julian-Weyer.1576865279.1818.jpg

The DNC will be a 20,000 sq.m complex, connected to the Aarhus hospital designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, one of the leading architectural firms in the world. They believe that contemporary life is set to revolve around changes. Thus a design should be processed according to the changes. In this way, architecture can be more utopian, with an idea to change our planet, and the contemporary living of the people. With these ideals, BIG has efficiently designed the new neuroscience research centre. The whole building has been proposed very well in a limited area, contributing to intermingling healthcare, education, and scientific research. The research centre aims towards connecting society and conducting various lectures on brain research and science. 

Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet2
Hualien Residences by BIG- A Utopian Design_©www.scandinaviastandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Hualien-Residences-BIG-Architects-bjarke-ingels-3-624×390.jpg
Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet3
BIG with their model of the new research centre building mimicking human brain_©pbs.twimg.com/media/FN46xKnX0AsHRP3.jpg

The most striking feature of the whole new building complex is its shape, which is a typical Human Brain. The design came up after considering the ideas put down by the DNC. The building design aims towards creating a coexisting model so that there will be no division between the somatic and psychiatric diseases of the brain. According to the DNC, these two are two sides of the same coin, as they are in one way or another linked to each other. Thus keeping in mind this main motive of the DNC, the design came out to be like a human brain. The chief feature of this building is the folds and turns as provided in “The Gyrification of Human Brain.” This particular feature results in layers forming in the building complex. This feature further creates a spatial synergy between different spaces in the building and also defines the main idea as put down by the DNC, to achieve a co-existing model. These twists and turns follow up the six stories and get merged with the corridor building, creating a more cohesive model. A courtyard space is also achieved in the building complex referred to as “Exploratorium” by the DNC.

Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet4
Exploratorium or a courtyard in the building_©www.stirworld.com/images/article_gallery/a-model-of-the-upcoming-danish-neuroscience-centre-in-aarhus-the-hospital-floors-enclosed-by-an-atrium-big-drawing-board-stirworld-220322015219.jpg

The Six-storey building will have folded plates, just like gyrification in the brain. These plates will be further interconnected by the Atrium, functioning like a vertebral cortex. The result of this arrangement is that good spaces will be achieved in the limited area efficiently. This whole arrangement is referred to as “Cortrium” by BIG. Cortrium is a typology for a building form where an organic form cohesively organizes within the building, interlinking various spaces and areas in the building complex. This design feature also adds more differentiating features to the building, one of which are green pockets. These courtyard spaces or the green pockets add to bringing biodiversity to the hospital. Along with this, the stretched window mesh as provided also allows natural light to penetrate the building.

Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet5
Natural light penetrating in the corridors of the new research centre_©afasiaarchzine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/BIG-.-Danish-Neuroscience-Center-.-Aarhus-afasia-6-1024×614.jpg

On entering the building, the onlookers can feast their eyes on the grand reception area. Further, this reception area is linked to the atrium which encloses exhibition and different research wings, along with many green courtyards and sitting areas for the users. All the offices and rooms present in the building are well ventilated, and each has access to an outdoor terrace. On moving to the floors above, one can notice how the shape of the building is helping in maintaining a cross-breeding and an interconnection between spaces through the Cortrium. It is very well kept in mind to provide access to an outdoor terrace from every floor, promoting biodiversity in planning. Even the materials used seem to be complementing the building and its surroundings. The exterior will have whole red concrete, which helps in intensifying the design of the building.  

Danish Neuroscience Centre to "mimic" the human brain designed by BIG - Sheet6
Grand entrance foyer of the building_©www.archpaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/BIG-DNC-7.jpeg
Terrace accessible to each floor in the research building_©www.archpaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/BIG-DNC-6.jpeg

Thus, with the financial declaration of intent by the Salling Group, this project by BIG has moved forward and is set to be completed by the year 2026. The design of the building and its design thought has once again broken the bounds of contemporary styles. BIG has once again come up with a fresh way of designing a building, in this case, a healthcare building. This project will, in many ways, prove a utopian design, be it its design, or its functionality. 

Author

Sameeksha, currently pursuing her architecture degree, is also inclined towards writing and pouring out her thoughts. Being an writing enthusiast as well as an architecture student, she constantly tries to grab every opportunity for writing and express her views for the built environment.

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