Ulx 02 09


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February 2009 Urban Land ULX Web Extra

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Ulx 02 09

  1. 1. ulx r o n n y r e n Outside the Box: Contemporary Convention Centers Back in 1989, New York Times The best examples capture attention to the experience at the Ten recent convention centers architecture critic Paul Goldberger something distinctive about the pedestrian level, exposing activities provide models for integrating lamented the uninspired architec- city they inhabit, using contem- within and offering street-friendly ture and blank, bulky, windowless porary architecture to convey the facades and landscaping. Inside, these massive facilities into the street presence of most conven- essence of place so that out-of- they bring in plenty of natural light tion centers, likening them to “a town visitors feel they have arrived and take advantage of views to the urban fabric that surrounds them. beached whale on a city street— someplace unique, rather than city, while relying on sustainable enormous, inert, and totally out of simply being shuttled from an design strategies to mitigate the place.” Since then, with competi- anonymous airport to an anony- vast energy and resource drain that tion for the convention market mous meeting facility. These newer massive buildings entail. intensifying among cities, the convention centers have sculptural design of the typical facility has forms, eschewing the old “box Ron nyRen is a freelance architecture and urban design writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. improved significantly. with docks” model. They also pay
  2. 2. 1. Arena and Convention Centre LiverpooL, UniteD KingDom To give a low profile to Liverpool’s Arena and Convention Centre, which opened last year as the centerpiece of the King’s Waterfront regenera- tion along the Mersey River, London-based Wilkinson Eyre Architects sunk the entire complex 9.8 feet (3 m) below ground level, preserving views to cathedrals behind. The facility consists of two horseshoe-shaped forms, one housing the conference and exhibition center, the other a 10,000-seat arena, with a glazed galleria in between. The facade reads as three bands: the metal rainscreen of the roof edge, a middle layer of patterned translucent glazing, and clear glazing along the ground level, which puts the public circulation area on display and affords river views. Intended to generate half the carbon dioxide emissions of a conven- tional building, the design incorporates natural ventilation, heat recovery systems, heat pumps, and five on-site wind turbines that generate about 10 percent of electricity needs. The facility includes a 1,500-seat audito- rium and an 81,806-square-foot (7,600-sq-m) exhibition facility. ©EngliSh ParTnErShiPS millS mEdia/ian lawSon ©Tim Soar
  3. 3. 2. Badajoz Congress Center baDajoz, spain In the city of Badajoz in the region of Extremadura, Spain, Madrid-based architecture firm selgascano not only had to fit a 180,000-square-foot (16,722-sq-m) congress center into a city well over 1,000 years old, but also had to contend with an unusual site: it previously housed a bullfighting ring dating back to the 19th century, built within the pentagonal walls of an even older fortress. Respecting the layers of his- tory, the congress center follows the ring’s footprint, with a circular drum containing a 1,000-seat auditorium, largely underground and daylit by a dramatic oculus. Ringing that structure is a lattice of translucent tubes marking the grandstands that once occupied the site. The circulation path between lattice and drum serves as a plaza. A smaller auditorium, meeting spaces, and a café are also underground, radiat- ing outward from the auditorium to the fortress walls. Protected by a curvilinear red roland halbE canopy, a staircase leads down from the public square at the building’s front to the main entrance. The facility opened in 2006.
  4. 4. 3. Duke Energy Center cincinnati, ohio The renovation and expansion of the Cincinnati Convention Center, renamed the Duke Energy Center, not only enlarged the facility’s capacity when it opened in 2006, but also put the city’s name in lights. Located at a primary entry point to downtown, the two-block expansion incorporates a facade with white metal panels set at angles within a three- dimensional, 320-foot-long (97.5-m-long) steel grid; the panels spell out the city’s name in 50-foot-high (15.2-m-high) letters, easily visible from the interstate highway, especially when illuminated at night. Up close, the composition appears as an abstract kinetic sculpture. J. milES wolf / wolf PhoTograPhic arTS The design, by Seattle-based LMN Architects, includes 220,000 square feet (20,439 sq m) of expansion and 550,000 square feet (51,097 sq m) of renovation; new openings and public spaces along the existing south facade improve the facility’s connection to the urban context. At the western edge, extensive glazing reveals activities in new circulation areas and lobbies to passersby, while providing views to the downtown skyline and the Ohio River. A three-story, two-block-long graphic wall along the main concourse displays a collage of water and bridge images.
  5. 5. 4. Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre broaDbeach, QUeensLanD, aUstraLia The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre adds a major conven- tion and event facility to Broadbeach’s tourism district, a short distance from the beach. The mass of the facility—designed by Peter Hunt Archi- tects of Sydney—is minimized by means of its curving, segmented roof, which slopes downward on all sides to create a pedestrian-scaled envi- ronment along the exterior. In tandem with steel and fabric sunshades, the lightly colored roof and long eaves reduce solar heat gain, keeping the building cool during hot summers. Accommodating up to 3,500 conventioneers, the facility opened william long/longShoTS PhoTograPhy in 2004 and is owned by the Queensland state government; Tabcorp, the Melbourne-based gambling and entertainment company that owns the nearby Conrad Jupiters Hotel and Casino, built the facility and manages it. An 885.6-foot-long (270-m-long) covered walkway connects the conven- tion center to the Jupiters, while a monorail links to nearby hotels, shops, and restaurants. The 6,000-seat tiered arena can be integrated with the exhibition hall to create a 75,347-square-foot (7,000-sq-m) space.
  6. 6. 5. Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center gUangzhoU, china A highway cut off Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Prov- breaks down the facility’s scale and maintains views to the ince in southern China, from the nature preserve at the foot of mountains. Extensive glazing on the south facades, protected the Baiyun Mountains. A massive new convention center at the by sunshades, maximizes natural light. Completed in 2007, border of the two, on a site that once housed an airport and the 3.2 million-square-foot (300,000-sq-m) convention center an amusement park, might have exacerbated the situation. includes three buildings with meeting and exhibition facilities Instead, Roeselare, Belgium–based architecture firm BURO II as well as auditoriums for 2,500, 1,000, and 500 people; the achieved the opposite. structures at each end are hotels with a total of 1,100 rooms. The design configured the convention center into five slop- ing volumes, with landscaped “fingers” running between each building and linking to four bridges that cross the highway and reconnect the preserve to the city. Fragmenting the structures PhiliPPE van gEloovEn PhiliPPE van gEloovEn
  7. 7. 6. Magma Art and Congress Events Centre aDeje, tenerife, spain rooms. The undulating roof, made of white fiber-cement panels, The Magma Art and Congress Events Centre occupies a hill in contains “cracks” that let in daylight. Built substantially from Adeje, one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations on the concrete with local volcanic stone mixed in, the facility contains a island of Tenerife. Santa Cruz de Tenerife–based architects 30,000-square-foot (2,787-sq-m) column-free main hall that can Fernando Martin Menis, Felipe Artengo Rufino, and José María hold up to 2,500 people or be divided into nine small conference Rodríguez Pastrana drew on the island’s volcanic landscape rooms. With raked seating (i.e., a seating area that is sloped so in designing the building, giving it a forceful presence along a each person can see over the head of the person sitting in front) busy highway. on movable platforms, the hall can host cultural events on its Completed in 2005, the 240,000-square-foot (22,297-sq-m) edi- 3,229-square-foot (300-sq-m) stage, which is equipped with a fly fice comprises 13 geometrical shapes that rise from the base and tower. The upper floor can also be subdivided into smaller rooms. include secondary spaces such as offices, a cafeteria, and rest- magma arT & congrESS EvEnTS cEnTrE
  8. 8. 7. Palm Springs Convention Center paLm springs, caLifornia A number of conventions were outgrowing Palm Springs’ original convention center, erected in 1998, so the city brought in Fentress Architects of Denver, Colorado, to design an expansion that would nearly double the square footage and transform the boxy building. nick mErrick/©hEdrich blESSing Completed in 2005, the 261,000-square-foot (24,248-sq-m) Palm Springs Convention Center now reflects the area’s mountainous and desert landscapes. The undulating roofline recalls the city’s back- drop of mountains; stonework evokes nearby rock formations; the diamond pattern of the facade’s copper shingles suggests palm tree bark. The ballroom’s 40-foot-long (12.2-m-long) glass doors open onto an outdoor space modeled on a desert oasis. The design relocated the main entry from the eastern to the nick mErrick/©hEdrich blESSing western side, strengthening pedestrian connections to downtown four blocks away and reorienting the building to take advantage of mountain views—enhanced by the lobby’s floor-to-ceiling window. To preserve those views, the city has subleased a 1.77-acre (0.72- ha) vacant parcel across the street and is planning to turn it into a main entry plaza for the convention center.
  9. 9. brian gaSSEl/TvSdESign 8. Puerto Rico Convention Center san jUan, pUerto rico views to the ocean. The building incorporates materials such as stucco The Puerto Rico Convention Center opened in 2005 as the first and central and wood chosen to recall architectural elements of Old San Juan. Atlanta, piece of the redevelopment of a naval base into a convention and tourism Georgia–based tvsdesign led the design and programming and San Juan– district. The 580,000-square-foot (53,884-sq-m) convention center’s steel based Jimenez + Rodriguez Barcelo served as architect of record. and glass roof takes the form of a wave—a nod to the surrounding sea— The 113-acre (45.73-ha) district on San Juan’s Isla Grande peninsula and shades a large, landscaped outdoor plaza. will ultimately include hotels, residential and office buildings, restau- The roof’s glass skylight lets natural light flood the prefunction areas, as rants, waterfront cafés, and retail and entertainment uses. The first does the 13-story glass curtain wall at the entrance. The 40,000-square-foot hotel, with 500 rooms, is slated to open in the fall. (3,716-sq-m) ballroom is placed on the top floor, with an open terrace giving
  10. 10. 9. Qwest Center omaha, nebrasKa When planning the redevelopment of a Union Pacific rail shop site on the Missouri River, the city of Omaha weighed the merits of building a sports arena versus a convention center—and ulti- mately chose both. Designed by DLR Group of Omaha, Nebraska, and completed in 2003, the facility includes 1,118,000 square mETroPoliTan EnTErTainmEnT & convEnTion auThoriTy feet (103,866 sq m) of exhibition, ballroom, meeting, and support space with an arena seating up to 18,300 for sporting events and concerts. A 30,000-square-foot (2,787-sq-m) swing space can be opened up to the arena, the convention center, or both. The swooping, winglike roof—appropriate for a facility located only three miles (4.8 km) from the airport—includes a cantile- vered overhang to mark the ten-story arena and give the center a presence on the city skyline, while a glass curtain wall runs the length of the structure’s front, exposing activities within the exhibit hall lobby and prefunction spaces. The building is cred- ited with helping spark revitalization efforts along the riverfront.
  11. 11. SkidmorE, owingS & mErrill llP/JamES STEinkamP/©STEinkamP PhoTograPhy SkidmorE, owingS & mErrill llP/JamES STEinkamP/©STEinkamP PhoTograPhy 10. Virginia Beach Convention Center virginia beach, virginia Long known as a vacation beach getaway, Virginia Beach is seeking The roof, one of the biggest column-free spans in the United States, to shake up its reputation and rebrand itself as a year-round des- covers a 150,000-square-foot (13,935-sq-m) column-free exhibit hall and tination. The Virginia Beach Convention Center, opened in phases 29,000 square feet (2,694 sq m) of meeting space. Sustainable strategies in 2005 and 2007, is a key part of that effort. Chicago’s Skidmore, include natural daylight, ceramic fritted glass to minimize solar heat gain, Owings & Merrill designed the 516,522-square-foot (47,986-sq-m) paints that emit low levels of volatile organic compounds, automated roof- facility to evoke nautical imagery: the steel-framed glass curtain wall top vents to exhaust heat buildup, stormwater retention, and motion and at the building’s front recalls a sail billowing in the wind, while the light sensors to turn artificial lighting on and off. Video displays on four observation tower abstractly reinterprets the 18th-century lighthouse walls totaling 360 feet (109.7 m) in length show video installations by featured in the city’s seal. contemporary video artists. UL