Neuroscience Center Aarhus NEURO Building, Danish Health Treatment Facility, Jutland Architecture Images
Neuroscience Center in Aarhus
16 Mar 2022
Design: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Location: NEURO, between AUH and AUH Psychiatry, Århus, Jutland, Denmark
Renders by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Neuroscience Center, Jutland
NEURO is the first of its kind in the world, a new Neuroscience Center designed by BIG will bring together psychiatry and neuroscience under one roof to combine groundbreaking science and treatment of physical and mental brain diseases, spinal cord and nervous systems. BIG’s 20 000 sqm design for Aarhus University Hospital mimics the gyrification of the human brain to utilize the limited site area most efficiently while creating synergies between the different disciplines within the hospital.
Established in 2009, The Danish Neuroscience Center (DNC) has become a world-class research and treatment facility for understanding and treating the most complex, efficient and adaptive organ in our body – the brain. A new building for DNC, set to open in 2026, will connect directly with the existing campus of Aarhus University Hospital and seeks to intensify the hospital’s unique approach combining healthcare, education and scientific research to collaborate and inspire each other. A major financial declaration of intent by The Salling Foundations allows the project to move forward.
“Through the fantastic support from The Salling Foundations and collaboration with BIG, we are one step closer to realizing the new Danish Neuroscience Center to create an optimal framework for further advancing the field of neuroscience and thereby creating new treatments for our patients with diseases of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The building must – like the brain – function as a space for knowledge sharing that creates new connections, contexts and common understandings.
We want to disrupt the way of thinking of the physical and mental brain diseases as isolated quantities. The location between AUH and AUH Psychiatry and BIG’s design of the building promotes and cements this approach. There will be a connection to the outside world through public access to experience centers, exhibitions, and lectures in our incredible brain house. It will be a unique and iconic building that I look forward to following every step of the way,” Jens Christian Hedemann Sørensen, Professor of neurosurgery and chairman of DNC.
BIG’s proposal for the six-story neuroscience center combines the efficiency of a double loaded corridor building with the generosity and openness of a classic atrium typology. By folding the floor plan around an atrium, similar to the characteristic folds in the cerebral cortex, the design not only allows each floor to reach the necessary square footage within a limited area, it also creates a number of connections and smaller clusters with intimate workspaces, courtyards and views between each floor within the hospital.
“The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Our design for the new Danish Neuroscience Center in Aarhus, replicates the most essential feature of the brain – the gyrification – to create more connections and space within limited confines. The building folds bring light, lots of new pathways and green pockets into the hospital making nature and biodiversity part of the hospital’s research and the healing journey of its patients.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
Patients and guests access the building through a generous reception area, into the large open atrium at the center of the building which contains an experience center – an interactive public exhibition and presentation area where the visitors can learn about the hospital’s latest research and findings. The visitors can head directly to one of the clinics upstairs or enjoy the café and a public green courtyard at ground level.
Each department from neurology to nuclear medicine, headache clinic and psychiatry has its own distinct space and program functions. To avoid separation and fragmentation between the disciplines, BIG proposes to organize them by the functions they have in common. This encourages crossbreeding between the different research groups that can help fuel inspiration, innovation and creativity, and future proof the spaces for growth, reduction or replacement.
”Danish Neuroscience Center seeks to bridge the research and treatment of physical and psychological brain conditions and destigmatize psychological disorders. Historically, hospitals have divided knowledge and expertise into different specialties and departments. DNC seeks to gather all current and future knowledge under one roof to create synergies between different expertise areas and a more holistic approach to understanding and curing brain disorders.” David Zahle, Partner, BIG.
Natural materials throughout the building such as wood and brick, used in other buildings at the campus will bring positive health benefits and a comforting atmosphere to the patients and guests. The red concrete of the exterior will blend well with the existing brick buildings and bring warmth to the spaces, contrasting the usual clinical and sanitized white environment of hospitals.
All office areas in the building are planned to be naturally ventilated and every floor has access to an outdoor terrace. A stretched metal window mesh prevents all workspaces from being affected by glare or direct sunlight, filtering the light to provide each office, laboratory or examination room with pleasant natural illumination. The project aims for a DGBN Gold sustainability certification for hospitals in Denmark.
NEURO in Aarhus, Jutland – Building Information
Architect: BIG – https://big.dk/#projects
Size: 19.852 sqm
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Client: Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Aarhus, Denmark
Collaborators: Salling Fondene
Type: Health, Science
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Viktoria Millentrup
Team: Alexander Matthias Jacobson, Anders Holden Deleuran, Bachir Benkirane, Federico Martinez De Sola, Jesper Kanstrup Petersen, Julia Novaes Tabet, Luca Pileri, Lukasz Zbigniew Migala, Mikkel M. R. Stubgaard, Natasha Lykke Lademann Østergaard, Omar Mowafy, Taliya Nurutdinova, Victor Mads Moegreen, Zuzanna Eugenia Montwill, Kristoffer Negendahl, Mantas Povilaika
BIG Ideas: Tore Banke, Katrine Juul
BIG Landscape: Ulla Hornslyd
BIG Engineering: Andy Coward
About BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is a Copenhagen, New York, London, Shenzhen, and Barcelona based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers and inventors. The office is currently involved in projects throughout Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.
BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.
Images by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Neuroscience Center, Aarhus Jutland images / information received 160322 from BIG Architects
Location: Århus, Jylland, Danmark, northern Europe
Architecture in Denmark
Jutland Architectural Projects
Aarhus Architecture Designs – chronological list
Aarhus Architectural Designs – Selection
School of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University
image from architect practice
School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
Design: C. F. Møller Architects
image © Aestethica Studio
Urban Mediaspace Aarhus
Design: SHL Architects
image from architects studio
Viby Syd office & community centre
Design: AART, Architects with LYTT Architecture (landscape architect) and Moe
image from architecture office
Viby Syd office & community centre
Comments / photos for the Neuroscience Center, Aarhus Jutland design by BIG page welcome