Central Bank of Libya




The design of the Central Bank of Libya is inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture in terms of sustainable solutions and cultural relevance. Two existing excavations will be used in a similar way that the Berber troglodyte houses were once built. The “pit houses” exploit the stable earth temperature (ca. 18 degrees) and provide shade and ventilation via the atrium, as well as function as water collectors.

For the Central Bank of Libya, the larger excavation becomes the social hub of the compound, a shaded oasis not only for the bank and its public activity (operations, education center, restaurant, hotel) but also for the Gurji district. The smaller excavation provides vehicle access to the treasuries. We envision the Central Bank of Libya’s plaza as a translocal destination that connects Gurji with the Green Belt of Tripoli.

The flowing facade of the building expresses the dynamism of the Libyan economy, by expressing the ever changing surface of the desert.

The clear shape of the building and its rationalized structure allows for multiple organisations of the plan. The building features four cores, one at each corner, which give the structure the necessary rigidity.The plan can therefore divided in four modules each with its own service core, which can be combined easily in larger office groups.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Tripoli, Libya
Client: Central Bank of Libya
Gross floor area: 50,000 m2
Year of construction: 2014 - 2014
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition
Competition team from Henning Larsen Architects: Jacob Kurek (Responsible Partner), Kostas Poulopoulos (Lead Designer), Ewa Bryzek , Mincky Mo Simonis, Carmencita Sanz Marti. Renders: Christian Schjøll, Kyd Kitchaya, Peter Ravnborg. Sustainability: Erik Holm-Hansson

Design development

Design development


We divert urban flow through the existing excavations found on the site.


The large excavation becomes a public plaza. The small is the security enabled access point.

The large excavation becomes a public plaza. The small is the security
-enabled access point.


The public program is distributed around the large excavation at level -1, whereas treasury spaces are located around the secondary excavation.


The offices are located within a cubic atrium building, that has a 360 degree view to Tripoli. Similarly, it is seen from a 360 degree angle, and that allows CBL to excercise its symbolic authoritative role.


The soft waving surface of the volume resembles the desert dunes.


The deep horisontal louvers keep the high sun out of the building, without obstructing the panoramic views.

Sustainability Strategy

Sustainability Strategy

The vision has been to design a high quality, flexible, efficient, low-energy and functional facility with a focus on achieving an optimal w0rking envi-ronment for the staff of the Central Bank of Libya, visitors and other occu-pants.

With the sun being high and strong all year round, it has been pivotal to in-corporate daylight as a parameter for design. At the façade, a horizontal shading system shelters the buildings from excessive solar radiation. The slightly angled atrium lets the sunlight through creating a natural lighting and at the same time prevents overheating in the building. The atrium also creates a cave-like sense of togetherness for the people inside the building.


The key to aesthetic, comfortable and energy-efficient buildings is found in the interaction between architecture and technology. At Henning Larsen Architects, we have made the concept of sustainability tangible by focusing on energy reduction as the primary strategy. We have done this with a belief that focusing on energy can create quality all the way round. The specific gear wheels, agents, have been developed with the objective of creating value for all three aspects of sustainability, that is, economically, socially and environmentally.


  • Tripoli, Libya



Partner, Architect MAA
Phone: +45 8233 3069
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