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.
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.
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.
The use of an inner courtyard is a characteristic element of residential and public buildings in the Mediterranean and desert regions.
The courtyard is closed, and constitutes an inner world that is protected against the winds and shaded from the sun.
The main entrance to the plaza and to the complex is designed like a cleft carved into the rock of a canyon.
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.
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.
An inclined cone-shaped volume, located next to the main building, accommodates the meeting room which can be reached thanks to a raised footbridge.
The whole complex reflects an architectural trend moved by the weather imperatives of a desert environment.
Location: Beer Sheva, Israel
Architects: Chyutin Architects
Project Team: BrachaChyutin, Michael Chyutin
Area: 6,000 sqm
Client: Ben-Gurion University
Photographs: Ardon Bar Hama