The Dakar International Congress Center, designed by Tabanlioglu Architects, first opened on November 2014, for the 15th Francophone Assembly where 75 world presidents met. The Center which is located in the capital city of Senegal, sits on 77,446 sq m of land, occupying about 16, 270 sq m .
The design is inspired by typical geography and the nature of the region, most notable of which is the distinctive Baobab Trees of Senegal, which are famous for the extraordinarily massive girths and supremely long life span (up to a thousand years).
Here’s how the architects describe the center,
The building complex becomes a natural harbor for the presidential meetings providing a serene and secure atmosphere. The construction joins separate units like gathering strong collective identities of divers nations, solving the needs of statesmen’s assemblies and associated events. The units of the complex connected via water and bridges linking the separate blocks accentuate notions of the community’s foundation-creation, duration-continuity and harmony-order, in both social and environmental realms.
The twisted blades forming the texture of the mesh screen behaves like sun-break and grants a shady interior without hindering the accent of transparency. The building with its elegant veil visually merges to the surrounding water and creates eternal reflections over the water. Through the placement of panels in variations at different levels and angles, the facade is perceived as an assortment of playful geometries glittering with day light, echoing the colors and tones of the sky.
The three-dimensional effect of the mesh curtain grants the building a feeling of floating expression over the surrounding reflection pool which becomes a dramatic illustration with the sea breeze gliding through the facades. At night, when interiors are illuminated, the oozing beams through incise patterns become even more playful on the water.
Entering the complex is made possible at all sides. Presidential entrance directs to the main conference hall, where 1500 delegates can gather. The public entrances are given through the public restaurant and before the open-air fair zone, adjacent to the press & administration building. The VIP entrance is from the east end of the complex, between the museum unit and the VIP unit, which is a separate block linked to the main hall via transparent connection bridge; the upper level is reserved only for the President of Senegal.