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.The flowing facade of the building expresses the dynamism of the Libyan economy, by expressing the ever changing surface of the desert.
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 horisontal 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.
Henning Larsen Architects is behind several office buildings and headquarters all over Europe. In Denmark, the company has almost completed the new headquarters of Microsoft and Nordea Bank. The headquarters of Novo Nordisk were completed in 2014. In Saudi-Arabia, the company is finishing many office buildings next year as a part of the 3.5 million m2 masterplan King Abdullah Financial District.
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