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The Nippon Foundation, Osaka University Announce Conceptual Design for Infectious Disease Research Center [2022年01月06日(Thu)]
Happy New Year!
All of us at The Nippon Foundation wish you a healthy, safe and happy 2022.
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Mr. Tadao Ando’s conceptual design announced at a press conference on December 16, 2021, for the Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research to be built at Osaka University with the support of The Nippon Foundation. (Photo: Osaka University)


The Nippon Foundation and Osaka University have announced a conceptual design by world-renowned architect Mr. Tadao Ando for a building that will house the university’s Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research.

I made the announcement at a press conference in Osaka, western Japan, on December 16, 2021, jointly with Mr. Ando and the university’s president, Dr. Shojiro Nishio.

Mr. Ando, the 1995 laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel,” said that the building features an elliptical shape to evoke an image of “Spaceship Earth” to incorporate a sense of bringing together top researchers from around the world in a collaborative endeavor.

He said that he considered the project to be a very important undertaking for Japan and the world, adding: “Infectious diseases pose a grave threat to all of humanity, and need to be addressed by people around the world working together.”

Construction of the 45-meter-tall, nine-story structure with a total floor area of about 16,000 square meters is scheduled to start in September 2023 and be completed in February 2025.

The cost, estimated at 8 billion yen (about $69 million), will be financed out of the 23 billion yen (about $199 million) the foundation has pledged to the university over 10 years to support its infectious disease research project to prepare for future pandemics.

President Nishio pinned his hopes on the building, calling it “a new landmark, not only for Osaka University but also for all of Japan.”

“As a multidisciplinary facility where researchers from various fields conduct research under one roof, during normal times as well as emergencies, the building will create an open platform for a variety of professionals from around the world,” he said, adding: “In this way, we will be better prepared for pandemics that may emerge in the future.”

I noted that The Nippon Foundation has been deeply involved in fighting infectious diseases through more than 40 years of work to eliminate leprosy.

To help the nation combat COVID-19, the foundation has undertaken various initiatives. These include a 3.7 billion yen (about $32 million) project to build a makeshift facility with 140 beds for patients with mild or no symptoms, 4.98 billion yen (about $43 million) in assistance to 128 emergency medical services hospitals across the country that take care of severely ill and high-risk patients, and providing free and regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for essential workers at nursing homes in the metropolitan areas. 

The Osaka University research center will be able to accommodate almost 100 researchers from Japan and overseas and will promote open innovation between research institutions and business entities at home and abroad.

Noting that Mr. Ando’s design of “Spaceship Earth” creates the image of a planet Earth where all of humanity coexists, I said that I was thrilled at the prospect of leading researchers from around the world gathering at Osaka University to work together and make Japan and the world better prepared for future pandemics.



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With Osaka University President Dr. Shojiro Nishio (left) and world-renowned architect Mr. Tadao Ando (center) at a press conference on December 16, 2021, as we hold a model of Mr. Ando’s conceptual design for the Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research.


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Speaking at a press conference on December 16, 2021, to announce the conceptual design for the Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research.


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Mr. Tadao Ando, a world-renowned architect who won the 1995 Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel.”


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President Shojiro Nishio of Osaka University.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 11:26 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)