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New Alicante Congress Center

Location: Alicante Spain

Date: Mar 2022 - Jul 2023

Typology: Culture, Landscape

Size: 30.000 sqm

Status: International Competition

Client: Alicante Provincial Council.


The thinnest line that can be drawn and that exists in any reality is that line that separates, but at the same time unites, the sea with the sky.

That horizon is more than a simple line, although it is fictitious and is an optical reflection of vision. The horizon, together with the sea and its corresponding emptiness, are the key references when it comes to the architectural proposal. A Mediterranean sea and sky that is bathed in its fullness by its lighting and that makes both one and the other acquire a very intense, lively, brilliant blue tone which shades everything around it with its color.
We are based on the physics of the sea and the effects that occur when it is altered by the wind and sea currents: the birth of a wave in the middle of the sea, a loop formed by that same wave, or the trace it leaves at its end in the beach, are geometries that exist in nature and that fully identify its physical state, its nature and its state. We use these geometries produced as if the building were an extension of the Mediterranean Sea that undergoes these physical transformations due to air currents, but in a static state.
A heterogeneous fluid building is proposed, which fluctuates along its route and which links directly with the sea, continuing it to the horizon. A horizon that is key when it comes to the programmatic development of the building since it is imperative that it is always visible in any internal and external situation that happens in the Convention Center.


Exterior view

Establishing a conference center is a challenge. A challenge that is amplified by the plot and the premises that we impose. That is why, regardless of the geometry that the project may acquire, we seek to establish a very effective and practical functional solution, where the multiple routes of the different users are as effective as possible.
Based on this, we created a series of very detailed actions that result in a very functional Convention Center, dividing it into three very different parts that run longitudinally along the pier and that are attached to each other. These three parts make up the office module that will manage the Center, inserted like a solid tablet inside the plot and porous outside it, acting as a volume to which the second of them is attached. As if it were a battery, the second volume overlaps the office volume, where the auditoriums are inserted as two independent and separate pieces joined by a wooden skin that they have in common. These auditoriums leave between them and on their sides some spaces which will be used to house the spaces complementary to them, according to the lighting requirements they need.


Exterior view

Finally, the third piece is a skin which transforms and adapts to the interior, creating a vestibular space through which all the public communication of the building takes place. This skin becomes the first “physical” promenade in which it continues with the one established in the plot transversal to it. Inside, the stack of spaces that are generated are received by a transparent façade, creating an ethereal and welcoming atmosphere. This veil acts as a buffer zone at different heights which connect perfectly with the Mediterranean Sea, the sky and its almost undetectable line that merges them.
This damping “buffer” is at the same time a space that buffers solar radiation, serving as a climatic gallery and where the entire interior is bathed in Mediterranean lighting which reaches nuances that shape the interior.


Interior view


Interior view

The building is mainly made up of three strips overlapping each other that run longitudinally over the pier. These strips are composed of the offices in a semi-independent manner, a full one where the entire functional program is located and the third strip, where the lobbies are located as a large void. These last two pieces work in unison and are totally related to each other while the first of them is formed as a large technical mural to which the Convention Center is fitted. These three strips are elevated with respect to the street level access platform with the objective, on the one hand, of creating only an excavation basement for parking and minimizing earthworks, and on the other hand, to create a plinth where the user and visitor is elevated when using the building, and thus, elevate the horizon line so that they can have full contact at all times with the sea, sky and the thin line that separates them. The interior lobby of the Congress Center is presented as a continuous and fluid space that is easy to understand for the visitor, dressed towards the volume of the rooms by a skin of discolored wood and towards the exterior vision of the sea, the sky and the horizon. The continuous interior space creates a very lively sequence of spaces throughout the building. The dimension of these interstitial spaces, their different heights and the use of the curved shape of the room, and the exterior skin, enhance resounding spaces for meetings with their own character. The role that this lobby plays in the building is of utmost importance, since in addition to being a place of stay prior to the conference rooms and functional spaces of the Center, it is also a space for transmission to the different uses.


Auditorium 1


Auditorium 2

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