BOG 2018: Science Fiction for Real on the TAU Campus

A stimulating symposium focused on how to adapt the campus for the future
18 June 2018
From left: Dame Shirley Porter, Architect Etan Kimmel, Architect Vivi Astrinsky and Dr. Tomer Goodovitch. Credit: Yael Zur

How can inspiring study environments encourage more interaction and collaboration between students and researchers? Can libraries remain relevant in today’s digital world? And will TAU students soon be making their way up to the campus from the train station by elevator?


These were some of the issues addressed at a symposium led by Dame Shirley Porter, Deputy Chairperson of the TAU Board of Governors and Head of the Campus Development Committee, in an endeavor to adapt the TAU campus to the needs of the 21st century.


Architect Etan Kimmel, co-founder of Kimmel Eshkolot Architects, shared the thought processes behind two recent construction projects on campus, which his firm has designed. First, he discussed the Check Point Building – new home to the Blavatnik School of Computer Science and the Youth University. The Interior’s attractive open spaces were designed to encourage encounters between the building’s users and inspire a robust exchange of ideas. Second, he spoke of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History – recently completed and slated to open in July 2018. This project challenged the architects to find a way to combine public exhibition spaces with areas dedicated for safely storing and researching the museum’s five and a half million specimens of flora and fauna.  


Architect Vivi Astrinsky spoke about spurring innovation in libraries. She stated that even in today’s internet age, libraries are not obsolete; rather, they can serve as vibrant study hubs and embrace new technologies in order to provide added services to their users.


Finally, Dr. Tomer Goodovitch, an urban planner and public transportation expert, presented the difficulties and plans for creating a better transportation system to accommodate the community of some 50,000 TAU students, faculty and administrative employees. He presented ideas for making the campus more accessible – from new bike sharing services, to better facilities to connect the campus with the nearby train station.

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