Art & Architecture + university

Be'er Sheva, Israele: Ben Gurion University Senate Building by Chyutin Architects
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev aspires to be among the best inter-disciplinary research universities in the world, a leader in scientific innovation, inter-disciplinary research and applied sciences – all of which impact daily life.

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The Senate Center complex at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev serves as the university’s administrative center. It contains an office building, the Senate Hall, and an exhibition space.

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The office building, which faces the campus’s main entrance plaza, on the main lengthwise pedestrian axis, is shaped like a monolithic cube with sandstone cladding, and encloses a circular inner courtyard.

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The use of an inner courtyard is a characteristic element of residential and public buildings in the Mediterranean and desert regions.

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The courtyard is closed, and constitutes an inner world that is protected against the winds and shaded from the sun.

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The main entrance to the plaza and to the complex is designed like a cleft carved into the rock of a canyon.

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The entrance is reduced to a simple rift in the facade and so protects the patio from the winds while the walls ensure areas with shade.

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The Senate Hall is shaped like an inclined cone, cladded with sandstone bricks, and stands apart, several meters in front of the main building, thus creating a tension between them.

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An inclined cone-shaped volume, located next to the main building, accommodates the meeting room which can be reached thanks to a raised footbridge.

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The whole complex reflects an architectural trend moved by the weather imperatives of a desert environment.

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Location: Beer Sheva, Israel Architects: Chyutin Architects Project Team: BrachaChyutin, Michael Chyutin Area: 6,000 sqm Year: 2008Client: Ben-Gurion University Photographs: Ardon Bar Hama

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