Following the economic revival, an intensive urban and architectural movement began in Libya; new innovative and prestigious buildings in Tripoli started to signify the development, power and contemporary style.
Open to the world cultures and where diverse languages meet up, the Congress Center is a strong element of high representation and welcome presidents of the world in the texture of the natural environment and as a source of pride for the nation it represents.
Corresponding contemporary needs and architectural values, the building is in harmony with its “place” in terms of natural resources and cultural heritage.
The Center signifies the spirit of its homeland and claims to establish a physical relation with the global community.
The Tripoli metropolitan area has a population of 1,065,405 (2006 census). The city is located in the northwest of the country on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. Tripoli is the largest city, the principal sea port, and the largest commercial and manufacturing center in Libya. Tripoli is the leading center of banking, finance, communications and also international relations relatively. Due to the city's long history, archaeological sites attract tourist to Tripoli where the climate is typical Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers, cool winters and some modest rainfall. After the lifting of UN sanctions against Libya in 2003 increased traffic through the Port of Tripoli and have a positive impact on the city's economy.
The building site is located next to the Zoo Park and the woods in continuity. The Center being the lead construction the zone will be transforming into a Congress Valley; as a step forward, Rixos Hotel is recently built to meet the accommodation functions of the development plan, parallel to the process, private villas are under construction in close vicinity.
Surrounded by the woods, the rectangular two-storey ‘block’ is nested in a metal envelop that opens up to the external landscape with a wide portico that defines the main entrance.
A semi-transparent perimeter “shield” of designed bronze mesh application flows around the building, protecting the inner glass walls; an 8 meter corridor encircles all three sides; the main building is flanked by a 4-meter wide reflection pool and another 4 meter is left as a semi-open shady circulation area. The water elements provide a cooling effect before the building, in addition to its esthetic contribution. The semi-open corridors create a sound waft in the circulation zone. The metal mesh walls carry incise patterns that are inspired by the trees that surround the site, permitting controlled daylight to diffuse into the central space.
The facade texture is to change in every direction with the orientation of the building and depending on its relation with the exterior and preserve the harmony with the adjacent grove. The texture is visually an extension of the tree branches as a complementary of the woodland. When the building interior is lighted at night, permeating through the façade, the oozing beams through the slits integrate with the wood at the background.
As well as the balances of light and shadow, transparency of a communal space and confidentiality of affairs of state is carefully practiced in the physical existence of the project.
Glass wall systems allow for the maximum viewing area with no horizontal or vertical mullions to obstruct the vision. By transparency, the interiors benefit the optimum daylight in a controlled manner also by the mesh installation around the alleys surrounding the building.
For a state building welcoming the presidents of the world, the use of ‘glass wall’ is also a metaphor symbolizing directness and openness.
Entering the main lobby which is double space atrium with mezzanines that house meeting rooms connected by bridges passing over the atrium space, the building grants a feeling of spaciousness. The main conference hall is a rectangular space at the ground floor, with a circular seating design, accessed through the lobby. 4 lounge/meeting rooms accompany the main hall at the ground floor. Situated as a back row, VIP launches, press halls and private rooms are designed at the ground floor which also has a VIP entrance. Two other medium size conference halls located at the first floor where a restaurant and administrative offices are also placed.
An understanding of contemporary architecture is proposed for the building which is supported by all means of technological infrastructure. Align 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. It is in harmony with the environment and makes optimum use of natural resources such as daylight, the greenery and water elements.