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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli by Henning Larsen Architects

 
April 30th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Henning Larsen Architects

By using and re-interpreting specifics of the Libyan nature and culture, the new headquarter of the Central Bank of Libya will be a symbol of the new Libya, both for the local as well as the global community. We believe that the Central Bank of Libya must project an image of authority, solidity and security. At the same time, the Central Bank of Libya plays a crucial role in Libya’s economic growth, and as such, it should project a forward thinking, dynamic attitude, that grasps opportunities.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

  • Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
  • Project: Central Bank of Libya
  • Location: Tripoli, Libya
  • Client: Central Bank of Libya
  • Landscape Architect: Henning Larsen Architects
  • Space Planning: Henning Larsen Architects
  • Type of Competition: Invited international competition
  • Gross floor area: 50,000 m2
  • Team from Henning Larsen Architects: Jacob Kurek (Responsible Partner), Kostas Poulopoulos (Lead Designer), Ewa Bryzek , Minky Mo Simonis, Carmen Sanz Martin
  • Renders: Christian Schjøll, Kyd Kitchaya, Peter Ravnborg
  • Sustainability: Erik Holm-Hansson

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Design concept

The design of the Central Bank of Libya is inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture in terms of sustainable solutions and cultural relevance. Two existing excavations will be used in a similar way that the Berber troglodyte houses were once built. The “pit houses” exploit the stable earth temperature (approximately 18 degrees) and provide shade and ventilation via the atrium, while they also function as water collectors.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

For the Central Bank of Libya, the larger excavation becomes the social hub of the compound, a shaded oasis not only for the bank and its public activity (operations, education center, restaurant, hotel) but also for the Gurji district. The smaller excavation provides vehicle access to the treasuries. We envision the Central Bank of Libya’s plaza as a translocal destination that connects Gurji with the Green Belt of Tripoli.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

The flowing facade of the building expresses the dynamism of the Libyan economy, by expressing the ever changing surface of the desert.

The clear shape of the building and its rationalised structure allows for multiple organisations of the plan. The building features 4 cores, one at each corner, which give the structure the necessary rigidity.The plan can therefore be divided in 4 modules, each with its own service core, which can be combined easily in larger office groups.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

In order to create a building that is well-rooted in its culture, one must pay particular attention to the landscape and plantation strategy that will surround it. The planting strategy for the Central Bank of Libya incorporates building plants such as the palm tree, the tahara, the oleander and the branbakh, as well as others that are climatically relevant. The design for the new Central Bank of Libya is structurally optimised to deliver both robustness and expression. The generally rational grid is the rule, whereas a raking column system is used to create the atrium shape. The facade waves are appropriately allocated next to stability cores for increased facade stability.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Sustainability

The vision has been to design a high-quality, flexible, efficient, low-energy and functional facility with focus on achieving an optimal w0rking environment for the staff of the Central Bank of Libya, visitors and other occupants alike.

With the sun being high and strong all year round, it has been pivotal to incorporate daylight as a parameter for design. At the façade, a horisontal shading system shelters the buildings from excessive solar radiation. The slightly angled atrium lets the sunlight in, creating a natural lighting and at the same time preventing overheating in the building. The atrium also creates a cave-like sense of togetherness for the people inside the building.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

The key to aesthetic, comfortable and energy-efficient buildings is found in the interaction between architecture and technology.  At Henning Larsen Architects, we have made the concept of sustainability tangible by focusing on energy reduction as the primary strategy. We have done this in the belief that focusing on energy can create quality all the way round. We have developed a methodology with the objective of creating value for all three aspects of sustainability, that is, economically, socially and environmentally.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

About the Central Bank of Libya

The Central Bank of Libya is the monetary authority in Libya and enjoys the status of an autonomous corporate body. The objectives of the Central Bank of Libya is to maintain monetary stability in Libya and to promote the sustained growth of the economy in accordance with the general economic policy of the Libyan state. The Central Bank of Libya is not only a bank ensuring the development of a new banking system – it is also consolidating the spirit of belonging to the country of Libya as well as promoting the principles of disclosure and transparency and to work with professionalism and team spirit.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects is Denmark’s most international architecture company. Founded by Henning Larsen in 1959, the company today occupies a staff of approx. 230 people and has offices in Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Istanbul, Riyadh, the Faroe Islands as well as a newly established office in Hong Kong.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects is behind several office buildings and headquarters all over Europe. In Denmark, the company has almost completed the new headquarters of Microsoft and Nordea Bank. The headquarters of Novo Nordisk were completed in 2014. In Saudi-Arabia, the company is finishing many office buildings within the next year as a part of the 1,6 million m2 masterplan King Abdullah Financial District.

Henning Larsen Architects is managed by CEO Mette Kynne Frandsen and Design Director Louis Becker.

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

Image Courtesy © Henning Larsen Architects

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