The tourism institute is finishing the groundwork for Costa Rica’s next big project, the national convention center, and construction is scheduled to begin in January. The goal is that with this building the nation will be able to host congresses, conventions and world trade fairs, said spokespersons.
The Centro Nacional de Congresos y Convenciones de Costa Rica is a $64 million project that will sit on 10 hectares (about 27 acres) of land in Barreal de Heredia, just off the General Cañas highway. It’s location is eight kilometers from Juan Santamaria airport.
Designs for the center began last November after the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo signed a contract with the Consorcio Grupo de Diseño Internacional.
According to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, the design will be as follows:
The interior plan is to have an area for exhibitions, conference rooms, VIP meeting rooms, a press office, hallways, a kitchen and a restaurant in a main building of 14,662 square meters. The designers have a plan for the building to be versatile. This will be achieved by equipping the space with mobile walls that can expand from 162 square meters to 6,989 square meters.
Also, the whole building will be constructed on one level, allowing for the opportunity to be one single space or smaller subdivided areas. The total building capacity will be 4,592 seated persons.
The outside space will have an access road to the highway, pedestrian area, parking, a 7,500 square meter outdoor exhibition space and a waste and wastewater treatment facility.
A unique characteristic of the center will be that its bioclimatic and sustainable environment architecture, said spokespersons. The center will have a high-tech air conditioning system, but, in order to be energy efficient, it will work in sections so it does not have to be on in places that are not in use. Other possible options are umbrellas that mitigate solar heating, the reuse of rain water for irrigation and for uses inside the building, faucets that run on sensors and water heated by solar energy.
Expotur, the exposition of tourism operators, will be a place where the institute will begin to emphasize Costa Rica as a place for conferences and conventions.
“This action is appropriately aligned with the project for the construction of the first national center for congresses and conventions of Costa Rica, a highly competitive construction, that will strengthen the objectives that the tourism sector has framed to ensure that the tourism industry continue to be one of the main driving forces behind the country’s economy, generating direct and indirect benefits for human development,” said Allen Flores, tourism minister, at a conference Monday.
The 29th edition of Expotur will be open to the public May 11 to 12 in the convention center of Hotel Wyndham San José Herradura. There will also be workshops for children, recreational activities, crafts and cultural events in the hotel.