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 functioning 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 centre, 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 incorporate 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.
Team from Henning Larsen Architects: Jacob Kurek (Responsible Partner), Kostas Poulopoulos (Lead Designer), Ewa Bryzek , Minky Mo Simonis, Carmen Sanz Martin. Renders: Christian Schjøll, Kyd Kitchaya, Peter Ravnborg. Sustainability: Erik Holm-Hansson