Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University
An oasis for learning
The School of Medicine, of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, is located across the street from campus, on the grounds of a major hospital complex.
The program contains faculty offices, research laboratories, an auditorium and a permanent exhibition hall for medical instruments.
The building is designed as an introverted domain, focused around a circular courtyard which provides protection from the harsh external desert conditions.
The approach to the building is via a ramp and set of stairs, which cross the entry and terminate in an overlook towards the courtyard. A public scale is maintained throughout this route, which will extend, in future, via a pedestrian bridge to the life sciences compound across the street. The architecture of this spatial sequence is 'dressed' in concrete within and without the building. Once inside it bisects the school into the more private zone of labs and offices, and the more public one of the students' facilities and the exhibition hall. The route hovers over this hall and slowly descends into an elongated circulation zone enveloping the courtyard, where shade, green and water tame the intense light and glare. These natural elements create an internal oasis that comes alive as a place for learning, harboring both movement and rest while providing a focal point for all the surrounding functions of labs, offices, auditorium and student facilities.