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CERN Science Gateway gets the go-ahead

3D representation of the “piazza” which will be located at the centre of Science Gateway. Credit: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The new facility has finally been granted permission to begin construction after a year-long wait.

CERN's Science Gateway project has been given the go-ahead by Geneva authorities to begin construction later this year.

Spanning 7,000 square metres, CERN will build a new science education and outreach centre featuring a 900-seat auditorium, laboratories and exhibition spaces for holding activities and talks open to the wider public.

A major aim of the Science Gateway is to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and inspire the next generation of scientists.

It is expected to cost around 87m Swiss francs to build is and funded entirely through donations, including CHF 45m from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

“Our ambitious goal is for the facility to be a hub for scientific education and culture with the aim of inspiring the young generation with the beauty of science,” said Patrick Geeraert, who is in charge of the project.

“It evokes one of CERN's intrinsic characteristics: curiosity and the desire for openness and innovation. This new building is intended to be, both physically and symbolically, a gateway to CERN and to scientific knowledge. ”

The scheme, which is being designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop - the architectural firm behind landmarks including The Shard in London - is expected to open its doors to the public by the end of 2022.

Located close to the Route de Meyrin close to CERN’s 711 other buildings, the centre will also incorporate the partical physics laboratory’s trademark tunnels, caverns, and workshops.

The facility is planned to be carbon-neutral and will be surrounded by a forest of 400 trees as well as other green spaces.

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