Multiplex Cinemas IMAXEdit profile
Project description The project AE-206 (Multiplex Cinemas IMAX), aims to create a building that adopts the role of "attractor" of leisure and entertainment- cinemas, shopping, parking, food court and games, to be developed within the urban context of Avenida Escazú in San José, Costa Rica. The goal was to design a building whose image needed to be attractive as well as to deliver high quality construction with reasonable operation and administration costs. The limited surface of the site on which an extensive program was to be implemented, -cinema, disco, food plaza, shops, parking, required the vertical overlap of areas. From this criterion, zoning was defined as follows: Basement 1 and 2, parking and electromechanical rooms. First floor; commercial and food court, Second floor; cinema and restaurant, Third Floor; discotheque, meeting rooms and IMAX projection booth, Fourth floor; mezzanine nightclub and cinemas. The two parking basements of the building have a quota of 156 cars and 10 motorcycles. The movie theaters have a total capacity of 1331 seats, of which 332 are for IMAX cinemas and 145 for two VIP lounges. The vertical design and the rigorous safety and evacuation conditions required special placement of the vertical circulation. To meet these requirements two large stairways and two elevators for public use were necessary. The design of the entry and exit flows are such that there are no junctions, enabling the rapid transition between screening sessions. The horizontal circulation and access to the 7 cinemas revolves around a single central void. This ensures the integration of the spatial and visual layout providing adequate light and natural ventilation through a monitor that pulls hot air through stack effect and air pressure difference. In terms of climate management, the bioclimatic design takes advantage of the favorable natural climate conditions in the Costa Rican Central Valley. The thermal mass housed in the basement, entirely built in concrete, and the large volume of acclimatized space of the cinema, create a buffer zone (food court and shops) that are situated in the thermal comfort zone allowing air to be conditioned through passive systems, helping reduce cost operation in terms of air conditioning and lighting. Outside, the building exploits permeability opportunities offered by the location (street, plaza, rotunda and landscape). A limited variety of materials and colors achieve and express contrast. Bioclimatic Design The pleasant temperature in San José, capital city of Costa Rica, ranges from a maximum of 26 and a minimum of 16 degrees. This enables the use of different passive cooling strategies that achieve hydrothermal comfort throughout the day. The Venturi effect is carried out through the ventilation monitor placed at the center-top of the building. As the wind pressures on the windows of the monitor, there is an air suction due to the difference in pressure between the interior and exterior. The monitor helps to create a chimney effect (thermo- siphon). Fresh air is then suctioned through the openings located on the lower floors. Lower temperature tends to precipitate, while hot air tends to rise and is evacuated through the open bays of the monitor. The great thermal inertia hosted on the sub- floors helps reduce the temperature difference between day and night average temperatures, a variation of 8 degrees Celsius in San Jose. Basements and ground floor are built entirely of concrete, which has the ability to slow heat conduction to the ambient flow. This delays the effects of heat during the day until night and cold nights until the next morning. The east and south facades are painted light colors to reduce solar reflection and surface heating. Various architectural interior design strategies contribute to maximizing the use of natural lighting. The skylight crowning the central void, lights up the food court area and access to cinemas. The palettes of interior finish materials help intensify the reflection of natural light. If we consider that the relationship between embodied energy in the process of construction and the energy used in a building throughout its life cycle is typically 1:10, then it is clear that we must concentrate on mitigating the energy invested in the operation of a building and most certainly buildings in which the predominant use is movie projection. A tropical IMAX The Multiplex AE206 building comprises cinemas, retail areas, a car park and restaurants. The architectural language employed is a symbiosis derived from Caribbean vernacular architecture and the Modern legacy. The bioclimatic design of the building responds to the favorable climate conditions of the tropical latitude where the project is located. The efficiency derived from architectural form enables all areas of the building to be acclimatized through passive systems except for the movie theaters. A single central void ensures the integration of the spatial and visual layout, providing light and natural ventilation through a monitor that pulls hot air due to the stack effect and air pressure difference. The architectural design works to solve the contradiction between a large building that houses cinemas (a black box) in a climate that invites permeability of enclosure. For this reason, a perimeter verandah relating the building with the landscape solves the movie theaters exits. On the ground level shop fronts are set back behind a continuous covered footpath to maintain the permeable urban fabric of the area. Canopies, awnings, louvers and porches, all resources of the tropical architectural tradition are here reinterpreted in a contemporary language to provide the building with a sense of place, creating a direct local appeal. Given the proliferation of anodyne commercial containers, paradigms of "No Places", we find it appropriate to showcase a "Tropical IMAX."