About ELSC

The Building


ELSC new Building
West View. © Foster+Partners.

Building the Future of Brain Sciences

The Suzanne and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a pioneering research facility for the scientific exploration of the brain. Physically, the building acts as a gateway between the university campus and city – its dynamic social spaces and laboratory facilities are designed to attract exceptional scientists, as well as to foster an interest in the centre’s research activities within the wider community. 

The building is arranged as two parallel wings around a central courtyard. The upper levels house twenty-eight highly flexible laboratories linked by social hubs, which are conceived to encourage interaction and the exchange of ideas between students and staff. At ground floor, there are teaching facilities, a 200-seat auditorium, a library, café and a publically accessible gallery for the display of brain art. The courtyard at the heart of the scheme unites these different functions, establishes new circulation routes through the campus and draws the greenery of the surrounding landscape into the building. Planted with citrus trees and with a water feature along its length, the courtyard forms a quiet, reflective space and a cool microclimate, which can be further mediated by a retractable ETFE roof.

May 2017

The centre’s progressive environmental strategy makes use of passive techniques to naturally reduce energy use. Local materials, such as Jerusalem stone, are utilised where possible, and the building is orientated east-west to reduce solar gain. The upper three levels are shaded by a perforated metal screen, with a pattern derived from the neurological brain structure. Further passive cooling of the building is provided by translucent ETFE canopies to the west and east, which form distinctive markers for the main entrances.

Sunset Effect

In addition to The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences center, the Hebrew University have also completed two additional modern architectural projects. The first project is the Rothberg Family building for Engineering and Computer Sciences.  The second one is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. 
These three modern architectural projects of the Hebrew University are a symbol of how Jerusalem -one of the ancients’ cities of the world, is becoming a modern-era symbol for advancement, innovation, entrepreneurship and top-notch architecture.  


Shimon Peres sees the new building design
Israeli president Shimon Peres at a glance to the new building design

About the Architect
Foster + Partners, led by Founder and Chairman Norman Foster, is based in London with offices worldwide.
Photo Gallery
Images from the design process.
The Building Project Team
Design Architect Foster+Partners Local Collaboration Architects Baer, Shifman-Nathan Architects 
מכרזים לביצוע עבודות הקמה של מרכז אדמונד ולילי ספרא, בניין סוזן וצ'רלס גודמן למדעי המוח, קריית אדמונד י' ספרא


$30 Million Second Stage Development Gift to ELSC
Mrs. Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation Make $30 Million Second Stage Development Gift to the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
View of the biulding
As of now, the pouring of the ceiling of the first floor has been completed.
Model of the building
חדשות ערוץ 2 בסקירה על הבניין החדש שיבנה בבניה מודרנית חדשנית.
the site
בימים אלו נמצאות בעיצומן עבודות החפירה והדיפון בפרויקט הביצוע של הקמת המרכז למדעי המוח של האוניברסטיה העברית בקמפוס גבעת רם. עד כה הוצאו כ-50 אלף קוב עפר משטח העבודה.
Yediot Jerusalem logo
תשעה חודשים בלבד מרגע התחלת הליכי האישור ועד לסיומם - זהו המסלול של בניין מדעי המוח ב'עברית', שבנייתו תתחיל בקרוב
The new building
This week the cornerstone will be laid for the building, designed by Fosters + Partners, which will be sheathed in cast aluminum netting shaped like a network of neurons. But the London firm's Spencer de Grey explains why one can't design an iconic building in advance.
Model of neuron
האדריכל המהולל נורמן פוסטר מתכנן את המבנה, שאבן הפינה שלו תונח השבוע בגבעת רם. המטרה: לרכז את טובי החוקרים תחת קורת גג אחת - ולעודד אותם לדבר במקום להסתגר. מעטפת אלומיניום שמזכירה נוירונים תהיה אלמנט דומיננטי במבנה הצנוע. כך הוא ייראה
Yediot Ahronot logo
ידיעות ירושלים. ביום חמישי הקרוב יערך טקס הנחת אבן הפינה לבניין החדש למרכז אדמונד ולילי ספרא לחקר המוח בקמפוס גבעת רם של האוניברסיטה העברית.
The new building
הקמת המרכז אושרה על ידי הוועדה הקמומית לתכנון ולבנייה. ראש עיריית י"ם: "המרכז ימשוך מדענים לירושלים ויכשיר את דור העתיד של חוקרי המוח בארץ ובעולם"