Construction of brain research center set to begin

Permanent home for the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences launches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

March 7, 2013 04:34
2 minute read.
A RENDERING of the inaugurated Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew U

brain research center 370. (photo credit: Hebrew University)

A major step in the fight against brain diseases is being made with Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for a permanent home to the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Designed by the British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the new building will be home to the country’s largest neuroscience center and be one of the most ambitious in the world.

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The 14,500 square-meter building on the Givat Ram campus will include state-of-the- art labs, classrooms, an innovative imaging center and areas for biological and pre-clinical research. Significant emphasis will be placed on constructing an environmentally friendly building with a focus on conserving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

HU president Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson said a day before the ceremony: “This is one of the university’s largest and most significant projects in the coming years. Without the involvement of our donors, in particular the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and the family of Corky Goodman, this project would not have come to fruition.”

The ceremony will honor the Charles H. Goodman family and include Ben-Sasson, ELSC Director Prof.

Eilon Vaadia and architects Spencer De Grey and Darron Haylock of Foster + Partners.

Established in 2009, ELSC brings together a powerful interdisciplinary team of top scientists working to revolutionize current neuroscience research. This collaboration will contribute to worldwide progress in brain science and further establish the university as one of the world’s leading neuroscience centers.

HU vice president and director-general Billy Shapira said: “This project will be an important contribution to the university and the city of Jerusalem. The building will become a magnet for the scientific community and the general public, who will see an architectural masterpiece that displays the innovation and progress that characterize the university.”

ELSC director Prof. Eilon Vaadia said, “This is another step towards our vision of building an advanced research center that will provide the best technological infrastructure for researchers in brain science. As a result, we will be able to continue recruiting outstanding scientists and training the next generation of graduate students in our unique Ph.D.


The prizewinning Foster + Partners will work with the Jerusalem architectural firm of Baer, Shifman-Nathan Architects, headed by architects Yuval Baer and Galit Shifman-Nathan, and with architect Zadok Sherman.

Some of Foster’s most famous designs include London’s Millennium Bridge and City Hall, the Hearst Tower in New York and Beijing airport – the largest single building on the planet.

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