Foster to design building at HU’s Edmond J. Safra Campus

“We want the building to be social and scientific hub of the university,” said Yuval Baer, one of the Israeli partners.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
September 25, 2011 23:03
1 minute read.
Architect’s rendering for HU Brain Sciences Center

Architect’s rendering for HU Brain Sciences Center. (photo credit: Courtesy Foster + Partners)

 
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World-famous British architect Lord Norman Foster, responsible for icons including the Millennium Bridge in London, the Hearst Tower in New York, and the Beijing airport will design the new Center for Brain Sciences at the Safra of the Hebrew University, the university announced on Wednesday.

Foster + Partners will work in conjunction with Israeli architecture firm Baer, Shifman- Nathan Architects to design the 10,500 sq.m. Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences.

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“We want the building to be social and scientific hub of the university,” said Yuval Baer, one of the Israeli partners. “We want to build state-of-the art laboratories that are going to gather all these scientific and non-scientific people in the university,” he said.

Foster is most well-known for his soaring glass designs with sweeping facades, a style that is in opposition to the traditional Jerusalem stone architecture or the hulking concrete buildings on part of the Edmond J. Safra Campus.

Baer called the melding of Foster’s technology-centric style with traditional Jerusalem architecture a “challenge.” Foster is also well-known for putting an emphasis on green architecture, including utilizing air flow as a natural coolant, as in the London Swiss Re headquarters affectionately known as “The Gherkin.” Baer added that the new building will serve as a link between the older, more beautiful northern end of the Edmond J. Safra Campusand the southern end, which has more modern buildings that emphasize utility of aesthetics.

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science was established in 2009 and will be the largest brain research center in Israel.



“This project will be an important contribution to the Hebrew University and the city of Jerusalem because the building will become a magnet not only for the scientific community but also the general public, who will see an architectural masterpiece that displays the innovation and progress that characterize the university,” said Hebrew University vice president and director-general Billy Shapira.

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