VISITOR AND RESEARCH CENTER, CIÉNAGA DE ZAPATA , CUBA

2004
Tropical building/Tourism development

Rewarded at the Icopal competition for specific use of the roof in 2005.

The Centre is part of a strategy to implement environmentally friendly tourism in the marshlands of Cienága de Zapata. It is parted in three buildings, one for visitors, one for employees and researchers and one for housing students and researchers. They are all connected through a wooden walking path hoisted from the ground.

The visitorcentre will also be used for education and social activities for the local population. During the evenings there can be arranged movies, dances, concerts, parties and so on.

The buildings are built after the same principles, an outer frame to protect from rain and sun and an inner core that can be closed off. Cuba has a warm and humid climate and the buildings are designed to use the natural resourses on the ground to create shaddow and cooling. At all time the northeastern tradewinds can sweep through the inner parts of the building cooling down the construction and inhabitants. The buildings can also be closed off during hurricanes and tough weather.

Tha large roofs collects huge amounts of rainwater which will be reused in the building and solar panels on the middle building will provide the centre with the needed energy at all times.
The outer roof filters the sunlight through a grid of wooden beams and a waterresistent fabric instead of cutting it of, this will help prevent glare from the outside of the building.
Large panels cut off the sunwithout closing off the building.