Strasbourg hopes 'sustainable' venue will enhance international reputation

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Parc de Expo Strasbourg Strasbourg Exhibition Centre Photo Credit: ami

City leaders in Strasbourg hope a striking new venue will enhance the French city's reputation as a place to host international meetings and events. 

The Strasbourg Exhibition Centre, operated by GL Events, opened last week and adds another architectural dimension to the historic city.

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the 22,000sqm venue boasts various sustainable features, using wood from the local Vosges Forest as structural pillars that can capture 1,700 tons of carbon emissions. Inside, wooden panels act as an ecological heating and cooling system.

The roof will soon host 5,000sqm of solar panels. 

Its polished concrete floors convey Scandinavia chic and run throughout the halls. Venue managers want clients to make use of them instead of single-use flooring, particularly carpets.

Laure Vaissermann, deputy corporate communication director of GL Events, said: “This venue was built with sustainability in mind and using carpet doesn’t fit with the philosophy of the venue.”

This reconsideration of flooring materials was demonstrated by the Exhibition Centre’s inaugural event, the Foire Europeenne Tradeshow which, for the most, set up stands on the concrete floor. 

The €200m structure adds to the existing venues in Strasbourg’s Parc de Expo which began with the Strasbourg Convention Centre, also known as Palais de la musique, in 1974. Built with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra in mind, the original 1970s structure was refurbished with soundproof rooms and a peristyle casing to unify the style of each venue within Parc de Expo. 

The new venue forms part of the region’s plan to build its international events reputation. “The competition in which we evolve is national, European, and international,” said Christophe Caillaud-Joos, general manager of Strasbourg Events, part of the GL Events group which manages the Parc de Expo. “We need this equipment to pick up, bring people, and introduce as many people as possible to our territory,” he continued.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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