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Palacio de Congresos in Lanzarote, Spain by Henning Larsen Architects
March 16th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Henning Larsen Architects
The new Concert and Congress Centre, Palacio de Congresos, is inspired by the jagged and characteristic landscape of Lanzarote. The building emphasizes the surrounding nature marking a new cultural hub for the Canary Islands.
Palacio de Congresos will be located at the sea promenade of Arrecife, the island’s main city. The crystalline shape accentuates the identity and evolves the profile of the city. The main entrance hall is elevated from the traffic and opens up towards the city and the ocean promenade. It welcomes visitors and shows the inner glow and activity, and the city park is activated as a part of the entrance plaza, leading the way to the ‘red carpet area’ and a grand entry of the building. One collective foyer, as a cave, accomplishes visual contact to all levels and converts, with precise views back to the city and the city park, the skyline of the mountains, the ocean horizon and the sky. From Arrecife, the Palacio de Congresos is very visible and significant at the end of the promenade. With no rear side, the building will appear a landmark from the ocean, the city and from all the access roads. The island’s mild climate has made it possible to construct a large outdoor foyer making space for various public events and conventions.
A series of sustainable initiatives have been integrated in order to minimize the building’s consumption of energy. The building comprises the latest version of solar cells and is clad with semi- intelligent, shadow-providing shells ensuring a comfortable inner climate.
Intelligent, collaborative design on the part of the design team and thorough maintenance and management by the operator will result in building which has a gentle impact on the global environment whilst providing a major positive impact to the local economy.
Ventilation, cooling and dehumidification will be the largest energy loads thanks to the nature of the spaces and the local weather. To ensure that engineering systems work together in harmony with the design both on the drawing board and in practice, effort has been made to integrate the engineering systems with the building envelope. The building has deep-set windows and overhangs to provide in-built shade to the windows.The façade itself will be protected from the strong sun in the south by an external shell with reflective properties to ensure that the façade does not conduct heat to inside. The office area at the top of the building will have a double-façade incorporating shading systems which control direct sunlight but which allow views out.
The internal climate will be protected from the external climate by a well-detailed façade, which shades the hot sun, keeps out the warm air and shuts off noise. This allows the building to choose when it wants to interact with the environment, for night cooling or natural ventilation and when it wants to wrap up in its blanket.
The roof surface will be designed to emit radiation to the sky and the coolth that it generates is pumped around the building to cool its mass and, when that is done, it shall be used to cool a thermal store. The store would be a phase change material, which turns from a liquid to a gel when cooled, and the coolth store in it over night would be extracted during the day.
Electrical photovoltaic and solar thermal collectors will be used to create electricity and hot water from the sun’s energy. The heat will be used either for domestic (eg hand-washing) purposes or to help with reheating of air after dehumidification. The collectors will be integrated into the shading devices on the façade and over the external atrium.
There will be a high demand for water in peaks during events and, at the same time, a large amount of wastewater will be created. The wastewater from washbasins and sinks should be collected along with water from rainfall and be used for flushing of toilets or for irrigation. Cleary this strategy helps to reduce running costs but will also reduce the energy consumed in the island’s desalinisation plants.
Proces & Collaboration
Henning Larsen Architects and Spanish architect Carlos Morales have won the international architectural competition to design the new concert and congress hall on one of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote. The team also includes engineering consultancy, Buro Happold.
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