Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science

Hebrew University, Jerusalem

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, designed by FOSTER&PARTNERS is a pioneering research facility for scientific exploration of the brain.

The building, covering an area of over 20,000 square meters including its roof, is arranged as two parallel wings 20 meters apart, around a central courtyard. The upper levels house twenty-eight highly flexible laboratories, which meet the highest standards to avoid unnecessary vibrations of the building. The upper floors are linked by social hubs, made of steel beams and covering the span between the two wings. At the ground floor, there are teaching facilities, a 300-seat auditorium, a library, cafĂ© and a publically accessible gallery for the display of brain art. The basement levels consist of more labs, faculty offices and underground parking.  A flat retractable steel roof, consisting of ETFE cushions and aluminum louvers, covers the entire building from above.

The steel roof was fully designed by our office and in full coordination with Foster and Partners Architects.*

The building is made of concrete and stone veneer with glass and steel making up the curtain wall. The building's ceilings were pre-stressed from one end to the other in order to obviate the need for expansion joints.

To give the building a unique look of a human brain, large portions of the building are covered with "neurons", aluminum frames embeding templates of neurons within them.

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