Convention Center

Project Manager/Designer
Robert M. Scarano jr.
Completion Date
March 2006

This design for a convention center is a key link in an ongoing cultural revitalization and development process. The design composition consists of two volumes placed parallel to each other, separated by “gardens of water” and a grand stair, which leads to the main auditorium, an ellipsoid which absorbs light during the day and radiates at night.

The design is guided by the realization that a convention center must be a place for people to exchange knowledge and information, but also a place to congregate and interact with a maximum degree of flexibility, variety and stimulation.

The planning includes a 3,500 seat auditorium, 14 smaller auditoriums, an I-Max movie theatre, classrooms, office spaces and public areas.

The program called for a “great hall” with a large degree of flexibility. We took this to the extreme by designing a subdivision system of retractable partitions concealed in the ceiling, which can create up to 12 enclosures within this one space. These mini-auditoriums can be used all at once, and are each equipped with all required amenities.

The main structural and finish material is poured in place concrete, along with glass and steel fenestration, travertine floors, wood ceilings and custom furniture.

Water is implemented as a “living material”, mirroring the buildings and life around them, a poetic notion of human existence.