The 12,500 square meter Centre is an expression of contrasting geometric forms. The Center houses a grand entrance hall, three auditoriums, a multi-purpose event hall, conference rooms, offices, a restaurant, an underground parking and a public roof terrace.
Clad in a manner that gives texture and light to the structure, canted ribbon walls of curved champagne, anodized, aluminum wrap the form upwards to a prow that cantilevers over the street to the north. The lower walls are clad with vertical slats of unfinished Robinia wood that echo the trees in a neighboring park. In plan, the Center is a spiral that ascents on its self and articulates a planted green-roof and public terrace. To the north, at street level the facade appears to lift up to reveal a glazed entrance, finished with deep blue aluminum mullions. To maintain the visual integrity of the form, the architect inserted few windows along the ribbon wall – and those are fronted by slats that are rotated to allow for daylight and views. Surrounding the complex is a forecourt of polished, light grey concrete, flecked with bands of Belgium blue stone. These blue bands continue onto the ribbon walls and into the interior forming an irregular pattern that unifies the design.
Visitors enter the space to encounter a bright, open double-height lobby or “Forum”. Here skylights cut through the length of the crescent-shaped space at irregular intervals to usher in daylight, and create shifting patterns of natural illumination. Soft grey concrete floors are cross-hatched with inlaid Belgium blue stone, and a sculptural grand staircase constructed of cast-in-place concrete and finished with a white gloss surface and blue stone steps that lead visitors to the upper auditorium floors.
The Center features three auditoriums of varying sizes: 500; 200; and 100 seats, each fitted with vibrant orange Tangram seats that Daniel Libeskind designed for Poltrona Frau/Cassina. In addition to the Forum, which can host special events, parties and temporary exhibits, the Center features a 380 square meter dedicated multi-event space as well as 16 meeting rooms of varying sizes and with flexible layouts.
Mons International Congress Xperience, Mons, Belgium
Program: congress centre
Architects: Studio Libeskind in association with H2a Architecte & Associés
Contractor: CIT Blaton/Galère
Plan Coordination: Semaco PM
Sustainability: Neo & Ides
Structural Engineer: Ney & Partners
Acoustical Engineer: Venac
Electrical Engineer & Installations: Putman
Mechanical Engineer & Installations: Energys
Facade Engineer & Installations: Somec Group
Auditorium Seats: Poltrona Frau/Cassina (Tangram Libeskind Design)
Doors: Svedex (featuring Libeskind Design Door)