The facade of the new Asamblea Legislativa building seen from the Plaza de la Democracia y la Abolición del Ejército.
The Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica (Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica) has a new building, which began construction in March 2018 and was inaugurated in October 2020. The Assembly complex used to be located right on the east side of the building. The change to this new complex is considered that the previous facilities did not have the basic conditions to continue housing an institution of this magnitude, where approximately 1000 employees can work.
Despite this, the building has not been widely accepted by people, not only due to the controversial nature of discussions around political issues, but also due to its architecture, which on the outside, according to the points of view of some people, it is shocking for its brutalist architectural style, which is characterized by making exposed concrete buildings, with a robust appearance, which does not please many regarding its symbolism with Costa Rican democracy.
Corridors inside the building, at the entrance on the reception side.
In contradiction to the above, the version of the architect of the complex, Javier Salinas, in statements to Habitat Soluciones, the building symbolizes the solidity of democracy in Costa Rica, considered the oldest in Latin America, and its structure allows isolating the heat from the interior and both its magnitude in height and in square meters, allows it to be visible from different points of the capital. He also ensures that the materials used require less maintenance cost.
Braille signage on the complex's lettering, which aims to comply with all accessibility standards.
When walking through the corridors inside the building, you can find different sections, which house either departments for specific tasks, meeting rooms, maintenance rooms, restrooms, technical services, among others, which mostly do which could be considered as an office coupled with current standards.
This meeting room bears the name "Rincón de la Vieja" in reference to the volcano in the province of Guanacaste.
One of the most characteristic symbolisms of the Asamblea Legislativa is the placement of a series of pre-Columbian spheres, located both outside and inside the building, which are one of the greatest references to social origins in the country. In total, 7 original spheres were placed, which date back thousands of years.
In the middle of the building and at the last level, 4 pre-Columbian spheres were placed.
Three of these spheres illuminated at nightfall outside the Asamblea Legislativa.
Something that draws attention within the new Assembly is that it has a sophisticated television and radio transmission equipment, with its own booth and television studio, as well as offices for camera control and editing, from where it is currently live broadcasts of the events work in the Legislative Plenary.
Equipment for the control of the live transmissions of the acts in the plenary session.
Recording studio that is used for purposes such as presentations and interviews.
As was the case in the old Assembly building, this complex has a Hall of Expresidents, where old paintings are exhibited, some that were even placed in the disappeared National Palace, with paintings of former presidents, and It is located on the right side of the main entrance. The layout of this room is still being worked on.
All the presidents in the history of Costa Rica are exhibited in each painting in this room.
It is a large space in which its organization is still being defined, and will eventually host formal acts of the Assembly.
Another characteristic of this building is to have four underground levels, and in the last one is the Legislative Plenary, which again, according to the version of the architect Salinas, symbolizes that the people is over the 57 deputies that make up the congress. It has the public bars and the press office just as it used to be in the old complex.
The perspective of the Legislative Plenary from the presidential chair. The window on the left is the Press Bar and in front the Public Bar at the top.
The perspective of the Legislative Plenary from the chair of a deputy.
On this same floor, there is a room that exhibits photographs of former presidents of the Asamblea Legislativa, as well as armchairs and a large space, where eventually individuals or organizations can meet with deputies for issues related to their work. In addition to an exclusive cafeteria space for the deputies and deputies.
Classic armchairs and paintings of ex-presidents in this section. In the background is the Legislative Plenary.
Beautiful glass wall with plant decoration on the concrete background.
On the top floor is the staff cafeteria, and in this same, the roof is accessible and is decorated with plants and trees planted in 2020, which due to their current height, can even be appreciated by observing the distance from the building, looking over the top of the Assembly.
Rainy weather on the roof of this building. Trees are seen in advanced growth.
Despite the fact that the building already operates regularly, access to the public is still restricted, however, the expectation is that soon individuals will be able to enter, both in the Public Bar and in a tour to know what is described in this article and thoroughly explore the controversial new building of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.