Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won the international architectural competition for the new Calabar International Conference Center in the southeastern part of Nigeria. The Calabar International Conference Centre consists of four adjoining, sculptural volumes which are situated on top of a hill and has a panoramic view from the foyer.
We visited the city of Calabar between Christmas and New Year and we are really looking forward to establishing a close collaboration with local partners. It will be our job to carry out the project that will provide Calabar with an international profile
Architect and Associate Partner, Ulrik Raysse, Henning Larsen Architects
Nigeria is developing rapidly at the moment and, as an architect invited to contribute to this development, you have a special obligation to consider architecture as more than a question of geometry. Architecture also contributes to the development of society.
International Design Director and Partner, Louis Becker, Henning Larsen Architects
+ Project description by Henning Larsen Architects
The Calabar International Conference Center in the southeastern part of Nigeria is located in the scenic river delta of the Cross River State bordering Cameroun. Calabar is already hosting numerous conferences and, with the completion of the new Conference Center, the city hopes to attract even more international meetings and tourists.
The multi-functional and flexible building will also offer the citizens of Calabar a new cultural centre that will provide the setting for concerts, film festivals and exhibitions.
The Calabar International Conference Centre consists of four adjoining, sculptural volumes. The building is situated on top of a hill and has a panoramic view from the foyer. On the one side, the location on the middle of the hill creates a natural amphitheatre with a room for several thousand people. On the other side, you have a spectacular view of the river delta, and you can go to and from the Centre through a park on the hill. The walk through the park creates contact to nature and offers changing views of the characteristic shape of the Centre.
The volumes are cast in concrete and appear as sharply cut. The main hall can be opened up towards the outdoor amphitheatre so the technical installations of the stage can also be used in connection with outdoor events. The flexible building design allows for several types of events to take place at the same time.
The Calabar International Conference Centre uses passive means of sustainability to achieve a low energy consumption. As far possible, the Centre will be built of local materials to minimise the environmental impact and avoid long transport.
Calabar is the capital of the Cross River State situated in the southeastern part of Nigeria bordering Cameroun. The city is located by the scenic river delta at the outfall of the Calabar River Channel. Two thirds of the state is covered in rainforest, the only protected rainforest of Nigeria. The Cross River State has a population of around three million people of which almost half live in the capital of Calabar.
With its 150 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country of Africa. The capital of Lagos has 18 million citizens. Nigeria is Africa’s third largest economy and has experienced an economic growth rate of more than 7 percent in 2010.
World-class cultural buildings
Henning Larsen Architects has many years’ experience in designing cultural buildings and is currently working on, among others, Harpa – Reykjavik Concert and Conference Centre in Iceland, which will open this year; Palacio de Congresos, the new concert and conference building of Lanzarote, Spain, which is expected to open in 2013; Massar Children’s Discovery Centre in Syria and Moesgård Museum in Aarhus, Denmark.
In December 2010, the World Architecture Survey of the recognised British building magazine BD placed Henning Larsen Architects on the Top 10 list in the market area of Culture.
+ About Henning Larsen Architects
Henning Larsen Architects is the most international architecture company in Denmark. The company was founded by Henning Larsen in 1959 and today has around 150 employees as well as offices in Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Damascus and Riyadh and projects in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Henning Larsen Architects works at a global scale and has previously worked in Africa. In 1992, the Nation Center in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi was completed. It houses the largest media group of East and Central Africa, National Media Group, which publishes a number of papers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Henning Larsen Architects is managed by CEO Mette Kynne Frandsen, Design Director Louis Becker and Design Director Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Calabar International Conference Center
Location: Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Client: Cross River State
Architect: Henning Larsen Architects | http://www.henninglarsen.com/
Gross floor area: 16,000 m2
Type of assignment: Winner of invited, international competition
Project team: Louis Becker, Ulrik Raysse (Design Manager), Niels Edeltoft (Project Manager), Eric Tan, Tomasz Dabrowski and Peter Krogtoft (3D)