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Housing in Luanda

2010 Lisbon Architecture Triennale – Design a family unit with patio in Luanda

Function: house; Location: Luanda, Angola; Client: Lisbon Architecture Triennale & Luanda Triennale; Area: Plot area: 250sqm; Built area: 100sqm; Height: GF+1F; Year: 2010


Object of the contest: design a prototype of a family unit which leads to a patio, with a low construction cost, aimed at severely deprived families, typically consisting of 7-9 people, in an area of flat topography. The aim is to create a replicable model that reflects the social, economic and cultural specificity of Luanda, using systems, practices and materials which are commonly found in local architecture.

Perhaps 70 percents of an Angolan family private urban living can occur in an open-air space. In this context, the room, the cellular unit is but one element in the whole system of spaces that people need in order to live. This gives the courtyard a usability coefficient slightly greater than that of an enclosed room.

Rather than designing one patio with one pavilion, we conceived the project as a bunch of multiple patios and pavilions, linked by a common inner wall. This design allows for intimacy, enhancing in the same time the interaction between people. The design of the multiple pavilions also recalls the way they build their own house: room by room, at different moments in time, accordingly with their needs; a vibrant image of the neighborhood comes to life, in an ever evolving process.