Foster + Partners designed Jerusalem centre for brain sciences opens

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences located at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, designed by UK architect Foster + Partners, has opened.

The research facility will be used for the scientific exploration of the brain.
Located in the campus’ rugged natural setting, the centre will become the main gateway to the university once the tram link to the city centre opens.

The centre contains two parallel wings around a central courtyard, with the top levels holding 28 laboratories linked by social hubs while the ground floor will have teaching facilities, a 200-seat auditorium, a library, café and a public gallery dedicated to brain-related art.

The upper three levels are clad in an aluminum façade inspired by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, a Spanish neuroscientist, illustrating the brain’s neurological structure.

The development has green features such as improved circulation, passive techniques to reduce energy use, and using biophilia as a wellbeing technique.

Local building materials such as Jerusalem stone are used in construction.

Spencer de Grey, Foster + Partners’ head of design, said: “Understanding the enigma of the brain is the most challenging endeavour of the 21st century and research in this area is vital to the quality of life for millions of people.

“This is one of the most innovative projects of its kind at an Israeli university, with several laboratory complexes that are highly flexible to anticipate and accommodate future change, arranged around an open central courtyard that is at the heart of the scheme.”

Darron Haylock, from Foster + Partners, said: “The project has a progressive social agenda that has been applied at an urban scale, creating a centre for research and learning that is truly inclusive. The new building is located just off the main pedestrian spine of the University and its façade invites exploration, drawing people inside to learn about the research activities.”

Images courtesy of Foster + Partners

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