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Libya’s Stunning Tripoli Congress Center is Protected by a Tree-Inspired Mesh Facade
Completed in 2009, the Tripoli Congress Center provides a peaceful and welcoming place for world leaders. Located near the Zoo Park in Tripoli, the center is surrounded by woods, but it was sited so that no trees needed to cut down during construction. The building contains a rectangular main conference hall with a circular seating design that is surrounded by 4 meetings rooms, a VIP room, a press room, two other medium-sized conference rooms, and smaller private meeting rooms. The functional space is protected by a larger metal mesh facade with an 8-meter wide breezeway that wraps around the space. A 4-meter wide reflection pool provides a cooling effect and the rest of the space is used as a buffer zone and a corridor.
The congress center seeks to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment and is built from materials with a low-carbon footprint that can easily be recycled. The HVAC systems were designed to optimize energy performance of the building along with the help of natural ventilation, passive cooling and daylighting. Water-efficient fixtures and landscaping minimize the use of potable water, and the exterior is landscaped with drought-tolerant native vegetation. Grey water is recycled on-site for landscape irrigation and the hardscaping was designed to minimize the heat island effect and infiltrate stormwater. Low-VOC paints and adhesives were used to ensure healthy indoor air quality.
The perforated facade serves as a protective barrier between the inner building and the outer environment. The bronze mesh material is punctuated with a tree-trunk pattern that is optimized for each facade’s orientation and serves to filter daylight, minimize overheating, and allow natural breezes to find their way through. At the entrance, a large LED media screen displays important information, and openings in the facade provide access to the inner workings of the building.
Images @Cemal Emden
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