Designing a new hub for scientific research on Life Sciences and Environment in Kiev is the subject of the final architectural design studio in our group this semester. In Ukraine, scientific research has been established for long under the umbrella of National Academy of Sciences (NASU) that will celebrate its centennial anniversary this year. The Academy covers various fields of scientific research under three main sections: physical, technical and mathematical sciences; chemical and biological sciences; social sciences and humanities. The objectives of the Academy are stated as “to prepare scientific assessments and forecasts of socio-political, socio-economic and cultural development of the country, its economic situation and develop relevant proposals and recommendations on these issues, participation in shaping public policy development in the field of scientific and technical activities.”1

Life and Environmental Sciences constitute one of the most vital scientific research areas for the survival and sustainability of the humankind on earth. In this perspective, we proposed to study the architectural design of a new hub for scientific research on Life and Environmental Sciences as part of the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev. Confronted with the worst nuclear disaster of human history that occurred in Chernobyl in April 1986, Ukrainian scientists have concentrated their research on the ecological consequences of the nuclear radiation on living organisms, environmental safety and revival, and renewable energy resources among other fields of research. In line with these, “reproduction and balanced development of biological resources in land water ecosystems, the development of new agro and biotechnologies, energy-saving agricultural technologies, environmental management in rural areas, monitoring the quality and safety of agricultural and processed products” have been set as priority areas, concretized with the creation of National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (NUBIP).2

Students are expected to develop innovative ideas on the architectural design of a “Hub for Scientific Research on Life and Environmental Sciences” which is expected to embrace the universal requirements of scientific research and the requirements specific to the local natural, social, economic, institutional, architectural and urban context.

Students are free to refine the architectural program in accordance with the scenario and conceptual ideas that they develop personally, given that their projects respond to the expected total floor area. The hub is to be composed of four main program elements: research centers and their laboratories (1), educational spaces for graduate studies (2), an auditorium for scientific meetings (3), a specialized library and a museum of life and environmental sciences with exhibition hall(s) for temporary exhibitions and events to be organized for public awareness (4).