Cemal Emden

Tripoli Congress Center in Libya by Tabanlioglu Architects


[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he 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, next to it a 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. Utilizing the land, all the existing trees preserved; the piece with no trees, spotted as soccer field on the plan is selected for the location of the building.


Surrounded by the woods, the rectangular two-storey ‘block’ is nested in a semi-transparent metal envelope as a “shield” that opens up to the external landscape with a wide portico that defines the main entrance. Between the mesh and the inner glass walls a semi-open shady circulation area is created as an extension of the landscape. Incise patterns inspired by the trees around the site, permit controlled daylight to diffuse into the central space and at night , When the building interior is lighted, the oozing beams through the slits integrate with the wood at the background.

The building is in accord with its “place” in terms of natural resources and cultural heritage. The protective mesh facade’s texture, inspired by the trees that surround the site, 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. Glass wall systems allow for the maximum viewing area with no horizontal or vertical mullions to obstruct the vision.

Natural materials like natural stone, glass as an easy to recycle material, or other material derived from renewable resources with low carbon emission are preferred in the building process. FSC certificate is asked for timber work. For quality increment at interiors, paintings and adhesives of low volatile organic chemical compounds are utilized. Construction waste management, materials reuse, use of regional materials and rapidly renewable materials are the basics of design criteria.

By transparency, the interiors benefit the optimum daylight in a controlled manner also by the mesh installation around the alleys surrounding the building. 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 semi-transparent perimeter “shield” of designed bronze mesh application flows around the building, protecting the inner glass walls to reduce the heat in order to improve building’s energy efficiency; the exterior mesh walls carry incise patterns 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.

Between the mesh and the glass wall, an 8 meter corridor encircles all three sides; the main building is flanked by a 4-meter wide reflection pool that provides an extra cooling effect before the building and another 4 meter is left as a semi-open shady corridor, which creates a sound waft in the circulation zone. The design criteria provide natural ventilation. The HVAC systems were designed to optimize energy performance of the building.

Water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technologies and water use reduction are part of the project’s design criteria. For the outdoor landscape local plants which require minimum irrigation are preferred, basically easy to maintain perennial vegetation to be adapted to the macroclimate of the region in time. Hard landscape is avoided to minimize the heat island effect and protect the original earth, so the natural water sources (rain etc) expected to nurture the landscape. Water Conserving Sanitary ware Technology products such as water saving taps, low water content toilets and waterless urinals preferred. Grey water recycled on-site especially for landscape irrigation. Main health and safety credentials have been outdoor air delivery monitoring; increased ventilation; low-emitting materials; indoor chemical and pollutant source control; thermal comfort; controlled daylight usage by the help of metal envelope. The recyclable materials selected regarding gas emissions causing global warming. Minimum waste during construction and operation has been major concerns and nature friendly measures adopted. Load bearing system is steel, which is a 100% recyclable material as well as the glass walls of the inner façade. All other materials and systems of the construction highly considered to leave minimum carbon footprint.

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.

Aimed to be 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. The “open” character of the building is supported by the 350sqm media mesh with a computer controlled LED system, installed at the entrance. The media façade enriches the communicative nature of the Congress Center.

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.

For a state building welcoming the presidents of the world, the use of ‘glass wall’ is also a metaphor symbolizing directness and openness. 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.

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.


  • Architects: Tabanlioglu Architects
  • Location; Tripoli, Libya
  • Architectural Project Team:

Salih Yılgörür, Ali Çalışkan, Emre Özberk, Oktay Murat, Zeynep Eker, Merve Demirbaş, Elif Akçakaya, Salih Çıkman, Işıl Taşkın, Başak Uysal, Elif Selçuk, Zeynep Çorakçı

  • Architect in Charge: Melkan Gürsel, Murat Tabanlıoğlu
  • Area: 25000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Cemal Emden
  • Manufacturers: GKD Metal Fabrics
  • Interior Design: Sinan Kafadar ,Metex Design Group
  • Structural Consultancy: Emir Engineering
  • Mechanical Consultancy: GN Engineering
  • Electrical Consultancy: HB Teknik
  • Facade Consultancy: CWG Engineering
  • Acoustic Consultancy: STD Ses Tekniği Danışmanlığı
  • Sound System Consultancy: Pro Sistem
  • Fire Consultancy: Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Kılıç
  • Landscape Consultancy: Akgöze LD
  • Main Contractor: System İnşaat
  • General Coordinator: Burak Başlılar, Erkan Özmen (System İnşaat)
  • Project Coordinator: Yılmaz Düzgüner (System İnşaat)
  • Site Project Manager: Hakan Çelik (System İnşaat)
  • Site Coordinator: Ali Turhan Elmasulu (System İnşaat)
  • Client: System İnşaat
  • Site Area: 9000m2
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