“Wooden boxes” inside a large “stone box”
Granada began to take its place on the international map in the conference sector in the 1980s. That was the reason why then mayor of the city, Antonio Jara, decided to create the Granada Conference Centre and thus initiate a stage of economic growth.
The building was opened by the Spanish Royal Family on the 19th of April 1992, they year of the Barcelona Olympic Games and the Seville Universal Exposition. From the very beginning, it became one of the most recognised buildings in the city of Granada.
Juan Daniel Fullaondo, one of the great architects of the 20th century from Bilbao, is the architect who designed the project, along with María Jesús Muñoz and José Ibáñez. Granada Conference Centre is one of their emblematic projects and its design has been recognised on numerous occasions. The proportions of the premises and its orientation were carefully designed to provide the different panoramas which can be observed from the privileged location of the building, such as the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada.
The large sculpture upon which the building is centred offers a triple functional use: a viewpoint towards the city, an access and entry staircase, and a connection between the park and the building. This form allows the important connection between the exterior and interior use of the building.
The large capacity rooms being connected with smaller rooms and the exhibition hall allow a vertical interior design, in which the majority of the rooms are located on different levels.
The main room, which can host 2,000 people, is located at the centre of the building with a semi-circular form to adapt to the geometry of the premises. The building also has soundproofing in order to isolate sounds, allowing events to be held simultaneously in the different spaces.
The interior coverings follow the idea of treating the rooms as “wooden boxes” within the large “stone box”. To do so, the interior and exterior of the rooms are made from maple, which is the most suitable wood from an acoustic perspective, also giving warmth.
With regard to the room, understood as a container of rooms, its interior is covered in white, greed and red marble, the colours present in the flag of Granada.
In any case, the most characteristic feature of the building is its green Quetzal marble covering. The selection of this colour was for two reasons: making the Granada Conference Centre a “jewel” of the city, and representing one of the colours of the flag of Granada.
THE FIFTH FACADE
The building has what has been called “the fifth facade”, which is the covered floor of the building. Here a circular floored amphitheatre was planned for holding open-air events, as well as a series of partially gardened spaces for holding receptions, taking advantage of the magnificent views of the Sierra Nevada and the Alhambra, which can be observed from here. The amphitheatre was remodelled in 2015 and converted into The Cloud of the Conference Centre.
Designing Architects of the Projects:
Juan Daniel Fullaondo, María Jesús Muñoz and José Ibáñez Berbel.
Juan Daniel Fullaondo, José Ibáñez Berbel and Francisco Peña Fernández.
Collaborators: Ove Arup&Partners.
Developer: Junta de Andalucía y Ayuntamiento de Granada.
Constructed area: 31,766.00m² and exterior spaces of 3,085.00m²