The shores of Arrecife on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands will soon be graced by a beautiful new concert hall. Dutch architecture firm, Henning Larsen, took first place in a competition in 2009 to design the structure which will be called the Palacio de Congresos. Like a beautiful piece of jewelry, the concert hall is meant to accentuate the city’s sea promenade and elevate the city’s identity. Along with the striking form, the structure incorporates a number of sustainability initiatives like a “semi-intelligent” shading facade to keep the interior cool, solar panels for energy and hot water and rainwater collection.
Henning Larsen took inspiration for the concert hall from the jagged landscape of the island. Located next to the city park, visitors to the city will be drawn to the exterior in hopes of seeing a celebrity enter through the grand “red carpet” entrance. Because of the island’s mild climate, part of the concert hall’s activities can take place in an outdoor foyer with grand views of the sea, city, and back towards the mountains.
The building is clad in an external shading device with reflective properties to avoid heat gain. Deepset windows, large overhangs and this semi-intelligent shell keep the building from getting too hot, minimize the noise inside, and also encourage natural ventilation. Solar photovoltaic cells are incorporated into the exterior shell to generate electricity, while a solar thermal system heats domestic hot water. Wastewater from sinks along with harvested rainwater will be utilized to flush toilets and for irrigation, which naturally helps conserve water, but more importantly reduces energy use from the island’s desalination plant.