The historic district setting for the Laredo Convention Center offered points of departure for the architectural expression of the complex. The massing of the new construction aligns with the street wall of the Ortiz House, limiting the overall height of the complex to just over 28 feet above Zaragoza Street. As all event spaces are “double-height” volumes requiring column-free spans, the complex will offer clear heights of 20 feet or more.
In addition to the massing alignment the historic district offers examples of ornamental metal work, arches and arcades, “punched” facades as well as courtyards at the heart of many historic blocks. These precedents were reinterpreted in the concept design. Exterior facades and window openings are protected and shaded by linear metal work inspired by the work of Bertoia and Esnal. Arches are echoed in the shaped and shaded east, west and south gateways.
Interior materials may include metal work, stone and ceramic tile, acoustic wood and plaster finishes. The finish systems will be developed to provide optimal sound and lighting environments and ease maintenance. Building systems such as lighting, air supply and return, power points and other utilities will be carefully distributed and integrated throughout the facility to limit visual distractions while supporting necessary activities and operations.