The new Palacio de Congresos de Córdoba stands surrounded by antique buildings. The architects have carefully revitalized the walls that originally encompassed a hospital. They have accentuated forgotten elements and added new ones as well. They have organized the centre’s spatial program around three patios, as is typical for traditional building techniques in the area. While one of these patios features greenery and distinctive Moorish arches, a covered inner courtyard forms the heart of the new building. Tiled in white and with a sheltering view of the sky, this patio serves as a waiting area and provides access to not only all the rooms, but to the two meeting halls as well.
The large auditorium − now completely renovated − has become the highlight of the new congress centre. Over two storeys, the entrance level and an amphitheatre, it is home to rows of red chairs. The ceiling softly undulates above the hall before making its seamless transition to the rear wall. Like the floor and stage, it is of wood and transversed with integrated lighting tracks. Most of the technical installations are concealed behind the cladding. The side walls consist of sleek, white acoustic panels. A panoramic window behind the stage, which can be closed off as needed, provides outdoor views of Córdoba’s historical old town. Above all, the meeting hall captivates with its diverse possibilities for use. Along with flexible partition and projection walls that can delimit various smaller spaces, the chairs can also retract into the floor.
The material palette is a particular success here. With simple exposed concrete, plastered surfaces and details in wood or metal, the planners from LAP Arquitectos perfectly complement the historical structure. Stone arches, arcades and the cool, airy patios make the congress centre a place whose past can still be sensed even after revitalization.