atelier do cardoso

Boabab House. A house in Luanda: Patio and Pavilion.
Lisbon Architecture Triennale

source: courtesy of atelier do cardoso

Searching for a concept to an African house, came up the image of the circular straw matting that provided shelter on African landscape next to the baobab trees.
As we where investigating types of African and Angolan houses with circular plan and the way people live there, we found out that most activities are conducted on the outside, under the protection of a porch. There people work, cook and socialize. The interior is just a shelter. The rooms are situated along the outer wall and common area serves as the central distribution area.
Our proposal involves the interpretation and inversion of this model, preserving a family lifestyle centered on a outdoor area protected by a porch. So, we propose a circular house with the outer space / patio in the center. The rooms are projected along the outer wall and a porch waves between the patio and the rooms.
The patio is the organizer of the program. Works as an extension of the interior spaces, as the walls of the porch are rotating panels that allow the full opening of the rooms to the patio. This flexibility allows each resident a private space. The location of the courtyard in the center of the house gives privacy and protection to the family's outdoor space.
We propose materials and construction techniques traditionally used by African architecture. Adobe walls, a structure of Mopane poles, a roof of compressed earth and panels of sisal.
The use of these materials allows a low cost solution, but mainly aims to stimulate the local economy and employment. The construction of several houses or even a neighborhood requires the establishment of adobe bricks and sisal panels' factories, the opening of carpentry workshops and training technician builders.

Competition: Shortlisted. Selected for the exhibition.
Location: Luanda, Angola.
Architects: atelier do cardoso. Mafalda Ribeiro Ambrósio and João Gomes Leitão.
Collaborators: Manuela Cardial.
Date: 2010

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