The building

The Globe of Science and Innovation, which started life as the "Palais de l'Equilibre", built on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel for Expo.02, was moved to its permanent location in 2004, when the Swiss Confederation donated it to CERN. Housing a permanent exhibition and intended as a venue for a wide range of activities, conferences and other one-off events, the Globe of Science and Innovation is well on the way to becoming a major symbol of cutting-edge scientific research in the Geneva region.

The architecture

Designed by Geneva architects T. Büchi and H. Dessimoz, the Globe is as much a homage to the Earth as demonstration of human ingenuity. A real showcase of the talents of Swiss carpenters, it has taken timber construction to a new level.

On the ground floor, the Globe houses the spectacular and interactive permanent exhibition entitled "Universe of particles" on the activities of CERN, which will fascinate audiences of all ages. On the first floor, a domed auditorium with a maximum capacity of up to 250 persons and equipped with the latest technical equipment (sound system, large-screen projection system, broadbnd webcast and internet access) provides visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience. This open space can be easily adapted to meet the requirements of users.

The outer shell, resembling a finely spun cocoon, is designed to protect the building from the sun and the elements, like the Earth’s atmosphere. The inner ball, with its frame made up of 18 cylindrical wooden arcs, covered with wooden panels, creates a magnificent cathedral-like space with two ramps for visitors spiralling up between the outer and inner shells.

The Globe was rebuilt on its current site in 2004 and used for the first time on 19 October 2004 for the official celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of CERN. During the first half of 2005, thermal and acoustic insulation was added to improve tha facilities for users and visitors.

A symbol of sustainable development

Several remarkable species of timber were used in the Globe’s construction: Scots pine, Douglas pine, spruce, larch and Canadian maple, and these enable the building to act as a carbon sink.
To produce a cubic metre of wood, a tree absorbs a total of one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). It releases approximately 730 kg of oxygen (O2) and stores 270 kg of carbon (C).
Thus, the approximately 2500 m3 of timber taken from the Swiss forest that supplied the varieties used in the Globe absorbed 2500 tonnes of CO2and released 1825 tonnes of oxygen (O2) during the trees' lifetime.

Interior infrastructure and content

Two different floors for two complementary missions:

  • The ground floor of the Globe houses the permanent exhibition on CERN, its missions and its discoveries.
  • The first floor of the Globe is a multi-purpose area for holding conferences, film screenings, workshops, temporary exhibitions, press and VIP events and dinners.

On the ground floor, the Globe houses the spectacular and interactive permanent exhibition entitled "Universe of particles" on the activities of CERN, which will fascinate audiences of all ages. On the first floor, a domed auditorium with a maximum capacity of up to 250 persons and equipped with the latest technical equipment (sound system, large-screen projection system, broadband webcast and internet access) provides visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience. This open space can be easily adapted to meet the requirements of users.

A planned extension

To increase options for communication with the public, schools and all other economic participants, the construction of a new ring-shaped building around the Globe is currently envisaged. Construction of this new ring-shaped building around the Globe is awaiting partners for funding. It will provide visitors with additional areas for discovery and exchange while allowing schoolchildren to better understand the major challenge of contemporary physics. A 1:1-scale mock-up of the LHC tunnel with surround sound, is also planned and awaiting sponsors. This will give visitors a virtual experience of how the LHC is accelerating our knowledge.

A monumental sculpture, created by the Canadian artist Gayle Hermick, will soon be exhibited to the public on the esplanade surrounding the Globe. This sculpture has been executed with the support of the Meyrin Foundation for Cultural, Sports and Social Promotion.

Practical Information

Globe of Science and Innovation
Square Galileo Galilei, route de Meyrin - Meyrin
Lat : 46.2314284 || Long : 6.0539718

Access using public transport (TPG)

From Geneva Station at Cornavin
Tram - Take the number 18 tram to "CERN" which is the final stop at the CERN entrance (approximately 22 minutes in total).
The ticket costs 3.00 CHF ("Tout Genève" ticket). Visit the Transports Publics Genevois website for more details.

By aeroplane

From Geneva International Airport at Cointrin
Taxi.
Bus - Option 1 : Take bus Y direction "CERN" and leave at the final stop next to the CERN entrance. Option 2 : take Bus 57 and leave either at the stop "Blandonnet" or at "Meyrin Village" then catch the Tram number 18, final stop "CERN".
You can pick up a free ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the Arrival level. This Unireso ticket, offered by Geneva International Airport, allows you to use public transport in Geneva free for a period of 80 minutes. Visit the Transports Publics Genevois and Geneva Airport websites for more details.

By car

Parking available opposite the Globe

Coming from Switzerland:
Follow the signs for "Aéroport", "Lyon" or "Meyrin". When you reach Meyrin, head to "St-Genis" (which is just over the border in France). Before reaching St-Genis, the CERN site will be on your left on "Route de Meyrin", just before you cross the border.

Coming from France (Ain):
Follow the signs for "Gex" or "St-Genis". When you reach the border, CERN will be on your right immediately after you pass through customs.

Opening hours

Permanent exhibition open to the public

  • from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (allowing for exceptions)
  • Closed on Sundays

Guided tours for groups on request

For more information: www.cern.ch/expoglobe