Family House, Luanda, Angola
September 2009
Carlos Cunha
The building is limited by a 260 sq. meters polygon, which is half meter higher than the lot entrance level. It assumes a compact volumetric shape, softened by a reticule of pre-fabricated concrete pieces and by the big windows that illuminate the staircase. The reticule gives elegance and character to the house and functions as a solar filter, preventing the overheating of the glass panels in the north and south facades. The stair is the central element of the interior space, around which the program is developed. Its sculptural design enables identity and enriches the noble spaces of the house.
The house’s structure was developed so that the interior spaces shouldn’t be conditioned by it. The functional areas are concentrated in small spaces, allowing the creation of wide and versatile social areas, controllable by the introduction of curtains and furniture. The rooms can, therefore, show different configurations, once the spatial amplitude doesn't compromise different uses and occupations.
The concept for the formal development of this house rises from the will to highlight the space richness over the technical, structural and linguistics assumptions. The versatility of the different spaces (and its consequent possibility of different configurations), allies to the technical details typical from the Portuguese modernist architecture in Angola, which natural ventilation systems and solar protection used in subtropical climates potentiate the use of a high aesthetic potential architectonic vocabulary, by the creation of prefabricated structures, that confer elegance and subtlety to the building.