New HELEXPO Gates
Despite the location of the HELEXPO fairgrounds next to the city centre, the area had remained closed to the citizens. The project for the new gates responded to the need to regenerate the entrance points to the fairgrounds as well as to make HELEXPO more accessible to the wider public of the city.
Three new gate buildings have been designed overlooking significant urban squares that have also been reconfigured, incorporating existing architectural elements and artwork of the 60s. The new buildings have been designed to function mainly as gates for the public and information-reception areas for the international fairs participants with all relevant services that could be open to the city as well. All three of them are based on the same typology although differentiated according to the specificity of their location. These free-standing simple volumes are like prisms - both translucent and transparent - with a central opening as the passage point diluting the border between closed and open space. The metal framed glass walls covered with inclined, perforated copper panels lend a sense of solidity as well as transparency that changes in relation to natural and artificial lighting thereby producing a different effect during day and night.
The urban squares where the gate buildings are situated are configured as typical hard-surface mediterranean plazas with the dynamic and harmonic juxtaposition of marble, cast-concrete and green levels, as well as water and light. The overall strict geometry discreetly demarcates movement and pause and provides the exact position for every element in the whole.