Sipopo Congress Center is designed by Tabanlioglu Architects, in the capital city Malabo of Equatorial Guinea, situated by the ocean and surrounded by the woods. This rectangular two-storey block is nested in a semi-transparent metal envelop as a shield protecting from strong lights and create an implication of security, protecting the interiors from sharp sun beams yet benefiting the daylight at optimum.
The lacy texture of the mesh 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 ocean and the surrounding greenery in serenity, reflecting the beauty of the surroundings.
The glass wall systems allow for the maximum viewing area with no horizontal or vertical mullions to obstruct the vision towards the ocean. Especially the restaurant, directly facing the ocean, benefits the maximum view. The refraction on the glass together with the glittering reflection of the moves of the mesh joins the mirror image of the surrounding nature. The three-dimensional effect of the mesh curtain gives the feeling of floating expression by the vast sea and the breeze gliding through the leaves. The iconic building gains gestures of its own and presents the moves and processes of nature in its appearance using the language of contemporary architecture.
Incise patterns permit controlled daylight to diffuse into the building interior and at night, when lobbies and the restaurant are lighted, the oozing beams through the slits communicate with the spirits of the forest and ocean. Entering the main lobby, which is double space atrium, the interiors grant a feeling of spaciousness, and create a wide circulation zone. The main conference hall is a rectangular space at the first floor, with a circular seating design. The hall is situated amid the structure and accessed through the connecting lobbies at three sides; as the balances of light and shadow, transparency of a communal space and confidentiality of affairs of state is carefully practiced in the physical existence of the project. Situated as a back row of the mail hall, VIP launches are designed at the ground floor. The restaurant, overlooking the bay, is also located at the first floor flanked by the foyer at two intersecting sides.
Use of natural materials like timber, natural stone and glass is prefered. The three dimensional walls of each space is uniquely designed with reference to local sources. Starting with the design of special walls, the acoustic concerns are supported by architecture, as well as the quality of technical equipment.
The transparent connection bridge links the new building to the existing one in the texture of the natural environment.