Cajal Neuroscience Center


Alcalá de Henares University Campus
Floor area:
Council of Scientific Researh (CSIC)
Partner Architects:
Eugenio Aguinaga
Ignacio Lopez
José Maria Jiménez


Javier Valladares
Fernando Valladares
Quantity Surveyor
Manuel Lopez Lara
Design Project:

The site is in the middle of a university campus designed on a low-density garden city model, with isolated three-story buildings separated by ample gardens and street level parking spaces.

The project has a complex program that will change over time, in which the facilities have a strong role and with the peculiarity of including an animal house.

We therefore proposed a very flexible and modular design, which would reflect in the distribution of its volumes the organizational chart of the proposed program, so that the spaces of each area are distinguished without the limitations of overlapping uses.

In consequence, the following volumes can be clearly distinguished:

- An independent building for the social area and management and administration area.
- Another building for the animal house and its service floor.
- Three north-facing linear modules for the research area and central research support services.

The building complex with the above-indicated volumes will be placed on the site in a large excavated pond dug into the ground to a depth of -5.00 m, thus providing natural light, sunlight, and ventilation to the basement spaces. This pond will also have the function of releasing energy passively to atmosphere, as well as creating a beautiful, elegant and serene architectural and working environment.

The building for the social area was treated separately, giving the main lobby a high ceiling to create a luminous atmosphere and making it transparent to the exterior, allowing the surrounding gardens to form part of the entrance in daylight hours and illuminating the exterior in nighttime hours.

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