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Paulo Bruna Arquitetos Associados

Campinas, Brazil

October 2020


Paulo Júlio Valentino Bruna, Pedro Collet Bruna


Joan Font, Camila Schmidt, Ana Carolina Bertassoni, Dayane Gusso Miranda, Elnei Tavares


Laboratório Nacional Da Luz Síncrotron – CNPEM MCTI


Nelson Kon


Recently, physicist Rogério Rosenfeld published a nice little book on popular science to comment on “the scientific adventure that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson”. At the beginning of Chapter XV, the author comments: “Electrically charged particles moving in circular orbits emit a type of light called “synchroton light”. This light, produced in several laboratories around the world, is used to investigate new materials and biological systems.
Reading the book was a good start to understand what would happen inside the building, and to learn a little more about the scales and measurements commented on by the researchers. It is part of the architects' working process to learn how to listen to information without prejudice, and somehow translate it into a language understandable by the other designers involved.
Also, as part of the creation process, the hole project team visited other newly opened and still under development laboratories around the world, to be able to choose more assertively the constructive solutions and party that would be adopted in the project.
In addition to solving the fundamental technical problems that a building of this nature poses, the Sirius laboratory should reflect the high technology involved and the highest level of architectural expression, without, however, boasting of expensive materials and very complex solutions.


Sirius is part of The National Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS) that is part of the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), in Campinas (SP), a Social Organization supervised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI).
It is located at Campinas High Technology Center, which began to be created in the 1980s, intended for the installation of public and private scientific and technological research and development institutions, with the aim of becoming an important center of technological development for the country.
The Laboratory was created very close to Unicamp, Campinas State University, in other to stimulate partnerships with companies, government agencies and other society organizations.
The design of the project began in 2009, on this date the CNPEM started the construction of a series of laboratories that would be necessary for the design of parts and equipment that would later be used in Sirius. At that time, we developed the nanotechnology laboratory project, and during the process, we assembled the highly qualified team that would later be the basis of the Sirius civil project.
The building project was 100% developed in Brazil, and 85% of the equipment is national, including the development and manufacture of parts.
The technical challenges were enormous, but our mission was also to stimulate exchange and synergy between researchers. Despite most of the research being confidential, areas were created in the meeting of circulations, where decompression, coffee and relax could stimulate conversation and exchange between the users of the equipment.


The project fulfilled the challenge of providing the building's stability, both dimensional and thermal and vibration, to ensure that the electron beam with a vertical size four times smaller than a red blood cell travels a circular path of 518m 600,000 times every second for hours, without oscillating more than a tenth of its size. This is important because the more stable and focused the electron beams is circulating in the particle accelerators, the better and brighter is the synchrotron light produced and delivered to researchers.
Of the 38 projected beamlines, 14 are operating at the disposal of the Brazilian and international scientific community, allowing hundreds of academic and industrial research to be carried out annually by thousands of researchers, contributing to the solution of major scientific and technological challenges, such as new medicines and treatments for diseases, new fertilizers, more resistant and adaptable plant species and new technologies for agriculture, renewable energy sources, among many other potential applications, with strong economic and social impacts.
The success of the enterprise is such that new measures are being taken to prepare the densification of the CNPEM Campus. A new master plan is being drawn up contemplating a hotel to accommodate researchers and professors, a new university to support the training of new researchers and places, such as integration centers and food courts. New equipment and laboratories should also be foreseen.

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