by Benthem Crouwel as Architects - Tue, 20 April 2010
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The RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre is to be extended with a new building, Elicium (from Elysium, meaning a delightful place). Its lower component, the Expo Foyer or 'Ballroom', hovers 5 metres above street level and is attached to the existing complex on both sides by aerial walkways. This creates a circuit or perimeter walk, transforming the old forecourt into an 'enclosed garden'. Shifted up half a storey alongside the Expo Foyer are five congress halls; these are spatially linked but can be used separately. The Ballroom is a single large column-free space that may be divided up using sliding partitions. A seven-storey stack rises above the congress halls. Elicium puts the RAI in a better position to attract large multi-day international events and gives it a bold new front.
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