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The Sipopo Congress Center is a two-storey block situated next to the ocean along the coast of Equatorial Guinea. It shares boundaries with another iconic building, the Meeting hall. Designed by the Turkish architecture firm Tabanlioglu Architects, it is an exceptional response vis a vis the coastal site neighboring wooded areas.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (56)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

The façade is the most striking feature of the centre, composed of a double skin envelope, the outer shell is a mesh with a lacy texture which permits a visual communication with the exterior according to targeted view points and interests.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (57)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

The inner shell is composed of a curtain wall with no vertical and horizontal mullions and creates this kind of openness of the building on the surroundings whilst reflecting the magnificent views. For instance, towards the ocean, the restaurant located there has an uninterrupted view over the blue expanse.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (53)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

Further, the envelope not only performs an aesthetic and visual role but also has an environmentally conscious significance. As a result of the incise pattern of the mesh and the changing direction according to the building orientation, daylight solar gain is controlled to acceptable levels.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (49)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

In terms of the functioning of the building the layout is structured to have the main hall in the center flanked on the sides by the ancillary spaces.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (44)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

The entrance lobby with its double level atrium gives that sense of grandeur to the centre. The main conference hall is accessed by wide spacious lobbies at the first floor. VIP lounges are designed at the ground floor with the restaurant overlooking the bay located at the first floor

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (43)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

In spite of the fact that the center depicts a nice piece of contemporary architecture, genius loci played a greater part in the design process from communication with existing sight elements and features to the choice of materials. For instance the transparent bridge links the new center to the existing meeting hall, the choice of materials from the flooring to the patterns of walls were tailor made to depict the African setting.

Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (48)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

All in all, the zone is aimed to be the diplomatic resort with the center being the core hence an iconic piece of contemporary architecture is a great response.

 Arch2o-Sipopo Congress Center -Tabanlioglu Architects  (50)

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

Project Details

Architects: Tabanlioglu Architects

Design Team: Salih Yılgörür, Ali Çalışkan, Sertaç Tümer, Utkan Yonter, Emre Çetinel, Elvin Erkut, Tugce Güleç
Interior Design: Hacer Akgun Marino, Eda Lerzan Tuçbil, Esra Çanakkale, Gonca Yılmaz Ağbaş, Anday Bodur

Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Project Year: 2011

Site Area: 11.700 m²

Construction Area: 13.708 m²

Structural Engineer: Emir Mühendislik, Adnan Öğüt
Architectural Lighting Consulting: ZKLD Studio

Client: Oficina Nacional de Planification Y Seguimiento de Proyectos de Guinea Ecuatorial “GE- Proyectos”

By Hassan Mohammed Yakubu

Courtesy of  Tabanlioglu Architects

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