Famed architect Ando designs disease research building at Osaka University

Courtesy of Osaka University
A rendering by Tadao Ando of a new infectious-disease research building to be constructed at Osaka University

Osaka University and the Nippon Foundation have announced that they will construct a new infectious-disease research building designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando.

The building will become a hub for the Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research, which was launched at the university in spring. The construction of the building, to be located on the university’s Suita campus, is scheduled to start in 2023 and finish in February 2025.

Ando said he chose an oval shape to make the building resemble a spaceship. “I pin my hope [on the design] that researchers from around the world will come together to tackle problems such as the novel coronavirus.”

About 100 experts in a wide range of fields, such as virology and behavioral economics, have been involved in the research center to conduct research on infectious diseases and develop human resources.

Over the next 10 years, the Nippon Foundation will provide ¥23 billion, of which ¥11.7 billion will be spent to build the new facility.

The building is planned to be a 45-meter-tall, nine-story structure with a total floor area of about 16,000 square meters. Its first floor is expected to house seminar rooms to be used for research presentations and other purposes, in order to promote interdisciplinary exchanges among researchers. The seventh to ninth floors will have space to facilitate research collaboration between industries and academia.

“We want to deliver as an infectious-disease research hub that can connect with the world,” Osaka University President Shojiro Nishio said.