A design competition calling for a new Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, recently announced three finalists: Zarhy in Tel Aviv and StudioPEZ, in Tel Aviv and Basel, Switzerland; Jestico + Whiles, in London; and Atelier d’Architecture Michel Remon, in Paris. Launched in October 2015, the event was led by Strelka KB, a Russian consulting firm responsible for developing architecture and urban planning competitions. According to the competition's site, the prompt emphasized the importance of respect for the future facility's project site and environment.

Six concepts were chosen prior to the announcement, each receiving a $50,000 honorarium to compensate for the financial and labor costs involved with submitting projects.

"The selected teams stood out offering proposals with solutions that not only meet the requirements for the scientific work in the center but also follow the mission to establish an identity that would fit in the local context of the city of Tel Aviv and the University campus," explains a Strelka KB press release. "The selected proposals are characterized by a fine balance between technical requirements (hard program) and office and public areas (soft program), making possible efficient circulation between different building functions and areas."

The facility will be a workplace for 120 scientists and engineers. It will include office, laboratory, and public spaces. The winner will be announced on May 1.

See the three finalists below:

Jestico + Whiles Associates

Concept by Jestico+Whiles
Inspired by the Holliday Junction parallelogram—a cross-shaped structure that forms during genetic recombination used in DNA nanotechnology—this mostly horizontal building slopes upwards into a chimney at its east entrance. A white glass-fiber façade will be backed by reinforced concrete rainscreen panels that have a stippled surface finish.

Atelier d'Architecture Michel Remon

Concept by Atelier d'Architecture Michel Remon
Sharp, 90-degree angles create an outer shell also utilized as an exterior load bearing frame in this design concept, which calls for the use of solar panels and natural ventilation throughout the building .

Zarhy Architects+StudioPEZ Architects

Concept by Zarhy Architects and StudioPEZ Architects
Vertical and horizontal planes form a grid-like outer skin for this predominantly glass building. Passive heating and solar shading will moderate indoor temperatures throughout the year.