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International Convention Centre
East London, Eastern Cape


Type:Convention Centre
2011BKIA Award for Architecture


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33°01'06.93" S 27°55'07.64" E

B-KIA Award for Architecture Citation:

The International Convention Centre (ICC) in East London has delivered exhibition and conference areas which are dignified, well scaled and detailed. This has been achieved despite the challenging site which is sandwiched between two large hotels. The layout is resolved through the creation of a pedestrian street running between the reception area at one end and the dining area at the other. Both end spaces have taken advantage of limited views to the sea. The conference and meeting rooms are then positioned either side of the internal street.

The conference facilities meet the requirement of a high degree of flexibility. The public spaces are numerous and generous and allow for easy movement and socialising of delegates. The clear functionality of the conference space is thus complimented by public areas which have a relaxing ambience. The cultural references are subtle with the décor blending African traditional and modern colours, textures and artefacts.

The external architectural resolution is less successful. This was because there was a need to position the facility between and link to the adjacent hotels. Each hotel has its own style and the entrance to the ICC tried to make reference to each in some way. It may have been more appropriate to maintain a simpler sharper contrast without any reference to either of these neighbours which are both overpowering and bland.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.