23 October 2023
Guides and visitors enjoying the sun the Science Gateway piazza ahead of the inauguration ceremony. Photo credits: CERN.
Saturday 7 October 2023, in Geneva, CERN inaugurated the Science Gateway, their new centre dedicated to science education and dissemination designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in collaboration with Brodbeck Roulet Architectes Associés. Science Gateway will welcome between 300,000 and 500,000 visitors each year who will be able to enjoy an immersive experience of CERN’s discoveries, science and technologies.
Characterized by two large suspended tunnels, symbolizing CERN’s state-of-the-art accelerators, the structure will be a true bridge between the public and science, encouraging young people to pursue careers in science and technology.
RPBW project description
Four major elements give shape to the architectural vision:
- The “Bridge”. It is the spine along which an ensemble of exhibition and educational spaces develops. The Bridge is conceived as a street raised 6 meters above ground and crossing the Route de Meyrin.
- The “Photovoltaic collectors”. Three square photovoltaic canopies of 40×40 meters float above three respective pavilions. The central pavilion contains the classrooms. Located above the reception area, this is the place where the main vertical circulation connects the bridge to the ground. The north pavilion is conceived as a very flexible space which can serve as a 900-seat conference room, be split in three independent spaces, or accommodate two smaller venues and a full-height space for science shows. The south pavilion is destined to contain interactive exhibitions.
- The “Tunnels”. Two tubes, raised at the bridge level, are designed to accommodate CERN’s permanent and temporary exhibitions. Within the Tunnels, the visitor is immersed in an environment representing the accelerator tunnels 100 meters below ground, where scientific experimentation unveils the deepest secrets of matter.
- The “Forest”. Nature is what connects everything together, existing buildings with the new facility. Nature creates a great pedestrian experience. With its 400 trees, the forest wants to say that all exploration is about nature, no matter what the scale is.
A glance on the project
Five different spaces accommodate three exhibitions, two immersive workshops, an auditorium, a shop and a restaurant.
A bridge suspended 6 metres above the ground connects the different spaces.
The total area is 8000 m², of which 1400 m² are exhibitions and 260 m² workshops.
The building includes a 900-seat auditorium; thanks to a modular layout, up to three independent spaces can be created.
4000 m² of solar modules produce energy for the Science Gateway and other CERN buildings.
More than 400 trees and 13,000 bushes can be found in the surrounding green areas.
The carbon footprint during its operation will be zero.