Case Study: Tripoli Congress Centre
Tabanlioglu's latest project in Libya
Architect: Tabanlıoğlu Architects
Location: Tripoli, Libya
This 9,000m2 project is set in woodland near Tripoli, Libya’s capital city and the country’s base for banking, finance, trade and international relations. Completed earlier this year, the Congress Centre will host world leaders visiting Libya for conferences and summits, as well as other VIPs and media.
The building site is located next to the Zoo Park and set in woodlands close to the centre of the city. The Congress Centre is part of 25,000m2 site known as Congress Valley, which will include a hotel, private villas and other facilities for foreign leaders and dignitaries visiting Libya.
Tabanlıoğlu Architects designed the Congress Centre to reflect the country’s recent economic successes and openness to the outside world, represented by the lifting of UN sanctions against Libya in 2003 and the positive impact it has had on Tripoli’s economy.
“The function of the building is to welcome world leaders in a natural environment, and as a place that is open to world cultures and where diverse languages meet up. It will be a source of pride for the nation it represents,” Melkan Gursel Tabanlıoğlu, a partner at the firm, said.
The building’s perimeter is covered with a bronze mesh, which is decorated with patterns inspired by the trees that surround the site. The mesh provides daylight but also ensures privacy.
The interior glass walls are designed to be a metaphor for directness and openness, reflecting the building’s use as a forum for world leaders. They also provide views into the surrounding woodlands, with no horizontal or vertical mullions to obstruct the line of site.
Tabanlıoğlu has designed the building to be both contemporary and functional, but also to reflect its natural surroundings. “In alignment with its function as a meeting place for the presidents of the world, the building is strong yet symbolizes to be humble; it is simple but functional and finds its expression in clarity and sincerity,” Tabanlıoğlu said. “It is also in harmony with the environment, making optimum use of natural resources such as daylight, greenery and water.”
The main conference hall is a rectangular space at the ground floor, with a circular seating plan. There are four other meeting rooms on the ground floor, as well as rooms for the media, lounges and VIP areas and a separate VIP entrance.
On the first floor are two other conference halls, administrative offices and a restaurant. In an effort to reduce the impact of heat on the building, an 8-metre corridor encircles three sides while the main building is flanked by a 4-metre wide reflection pool while water elements provide a cooling effect in front of the building.