Henning Larsen Architects has been announced winner of the competition for a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli.

Project description:
“By using and re-interpreting specifics of the Libyan nature and culture the new headquarter of the Central Bank of Libya will be a symbol of the new Libya both for the local as well as the global community. We believe that the Central Bank of Libya must project an image of authority, solidity and security. At the same time, the Central Bank of Libya plays a crucial role in Libya’s economic growth, and as such, it should project a forward thinking, dynamic attitude, that grasps opportunities.

Design concept: The design of the Central Bank of Libya is inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture in terms of sustainable solutions and cultural relevance. Two existing excavations will be used in a similar way that the Berber troglodyte  houses were once built. The “pit houses” exploit the stable earth temperature (ca. 18 degrees) and provide shade and ventilation via the atrium, as well as function as water collectors. For the Central Bank of Libya, the larger excavation becomes the social hub of the compound, a shaded oasis not only for the bank and its public activity (operations, education center, restaurant, hotel) but also for the Gurji district. The smaller excavation provides vehicle access to the treasuries.
The flowing facade of the building expresses the dynamism of the Libyan economy, by expressing the ever changing surface of the desert.  The clear shape of the building and its rationalized structure allows for multiple organizations of the plan. The building features 4 cores, one at each corner, which give the structure the necessary rigidity. The plan can therefore divided in 4 modules each with its own service core, which can be combinned easily in larger office groups.  In order to create a building that is well rooted in its culture, one must pay particular attention to the landscape and plantation strategy that will surround it.
The planting strategy for the Central Bank of Libya incorporates building plants such as the palm tree, the tahara, the oleander and the branbakh, as well as others that are climatically relevant. The design for the new Central Bank of Libya is structurally optimized to deliver both robustness and expression. The generally rational grid is the rule, whereas raking column system is used to create the atrium shape. The facade waves are appropriately allocated next to stability cores for increased facade stability.

Sustainability: The vision has been to design a high quality, flexible, efficient, low-energy and functional facility with a focus on achieving an optimal w0rking   environment for the staff of the Central Bank of Libya, visitors and other occupants.  With the sun being high and strong all year round, it has been pivotal to   incorporate daylight as a parameter for design. At the façade, a horizontal shading system shelters the buildings from excessive solar radiation. The slightly angled atrium lets the sunlight through creating a natural lighting and at the same time prevents overheating in the building. The atrium also creates a cave-like sense of togetherness for the people inside the building.
The key to aesthetic, comfortable and energy-efficient buildings is found in the interaction between architecture and technology. At Henning Larsen Architects, we have made the concept of sustainability tangible by focusing on energy reduction as the primary strategy. We have done this with a belief that focusing on energy can create quality all the way round. The specific gear wheels, agents, have been developed with the objective of creating value for all three aspects of sustainability, that is, economically, socially and environmentally.”Read more.