An imposing glass clamshell supported by steel piers

by Malcolm Clark
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The Palacongressi, the newly opened conference centre located in Via della Fiera in Rimini was designed by architect Volkwin Marg from the gmp Architekten practice in Hamburg, who previously designed the Rimini exhibition grounds. Mijic Architects GMP (final design and architectural coordination of the site), Studio Favero & Milan (structures), Studio TI (systems ) and Studio Land (gardens) collaborated in the design process.

The structure consists of two main buildings connected by a large U-shaped foyer about 4,000 square metres in size. The functional areas will be about 21,000 square meters on the ground floor and about 6,000 on the first floor.

The first building is clamshell-shaped, 60 m in diameter and made up of two functional floors. The clamshell will accommodate a 1,600-seater amphitheatre on the first floor with fixed seats, which can be divided into two 800-seater rooms. On top of the clamshell, a panoramic restaurant with large windows may be used for exclusive events. There is also a 300-seater room with fixed furniture and a sloping floor, eight 30-seater breakout rooms, 4 medium-small sized rooms and twelve 50-200 seater rooms.

The second building, connected to the first through the foyer, contains the main hall which is almost 5,000 square metres in size. This reaches a maximum height of 17 metres outside, and 12 m inside. Mobile and soundproofed walls mean that it can be divided into a maximum of eight independent rooms, each with their own entrance.

On the ground floor there are also two further modular 600 and 450 seater rooms, which can be further divided into two rooms each; as well as a 280 seater room and three breakout rooms.

This means that the new facility will have a capacity of 43 rooms, 9,300 seats and a main hall capable of accommodating 4,700 attendees.

Two underground areas, which are located below the Conference Centre and Auditorium, will become car parks for up to 1,000 vehicles. The project envisages that the two underground car parks be connected by a tunnel crossing Via della Fiera. In this way the external gardens will not be affected.

    Palacongressi Rimini 7

    Palacongressi Rimini

    Rimini / Italy / 2011