Field of Activity
Negev Innovation Center
At its core, at the essence of the innovation complex lies the principle of hospitality. This principle is based on the assumption that the structure of innovation is above all a a platform and a spatial infrastructure that can allow for a variety of occurrences to coexist in a free and independent manner. Thus, the local field landscape is a perfect analogy for the structure of innovation: just as an agricultural field is fundamentally an infrastructure that can be used in a variable manner for alternating crops throughout different periods of time, so does the system of buildings constitute an infrastructure for change – starting from the scale of the office and culminating at the scale of the entire building.
Similar to the furrows of agricultural fields, the separation of the complex into a system of six individual buildings creates maximum flexibility that allows for both the exclusive use of the building as one unit, and for connecting several buildings together. Each of the six buildings is designed in such a way that at its center is a service core which is the permanent and structural basis of the building. Adjacent to it is the permanent program of the building, such as meeting rooms that can also be divided into different sizes, and laboratories and other multi-purpose spaces. Around this permanent core are intermediate spaces that create spaces of connection and transition between the series of buildings, as well as a wide variety of seating options, random meetings and informal workplaces. The perimeter of the buildings contains more private work spaces that can be closed, divided or separated from the large workspace, thus creating formal work areas.
The outdoor spaces are a direct extension of the buildings themselves and can be used as an integral part of the interior workspaces. The separation of the complex into autonomous buildings produces a wide variety of open and shaded outdoor spaces that are related to the informal work spaces. The roofs of the buildings themselves function as fields and produce added value to the place: apart from being an open public space that allows environmental connection and meeting areas facing the open landscape, these roofs create a direct connection to the internal laboratory spaces and are a base for experiments, food crops and various agricultural studies within them. As such, the outdoor spaces of the buildings constitute a further development of the principle of hospitality in a wider urban context. The roofs of the buildings protrude over the public space around them and enable the existence of various public programs – starting with a cafe in the front and ending with the opportunity to hold events such as a shaded food market, performances on the roof and various public events.
As befits an innovation building in the 21st century, principles of sustainability and climate thinking are a fundamental milestone in the design of the building. For the purpose of formulating the final shape of the building, genetic algorithms were used which helped to find the optimal configuration that allows for maximum self-shading of the building, thus minimizing direct radiation in the summer months on the facades of the buildings so that the need for cooling decreases. The roofs of all the buildings are green roofs which, being covered with vegetation, also make a great contribution to the building and its surroundings. Inwardly, the roofs produce thermal insulation of the interior spaces and help reduce their warming, and outwardly, the green roofs help minimize the urban greenhouse effect, absorb carbon emissions and contribute to improving the air quality in their surroundings. For the buildings’ materials, CLT (cross laminated timber) technology is used, a green building material with structural properties similar to steel but allows for shorter execution times and thus reduces construction costs, and being organic also absorbs carbon emissions and contributes to the quality of the building and its environment.
Beyond being an employment incubator for start-up companies, the complex is a living ecosystem that produces a holistic synthesis between the workplace and its environment. The hosting principle, both conceptually and design-wise, allows for a versatility of uses and produces a unique and contemporary structure which, on the one hand, is a home for innovation in the research fields hosted in it and at the same time creates a natural connection to its surroundings, with the aim of being a healthy and sustainable living and employment space.
Lot Area: 4,000 m2
Building Area: 15,000 m2