Angola Architecture, African Building, Architect, C Spot Design
C Spot, Africa : Angola Building
Contemporary African Development – design by Segmento Urbano Arquitectos
12 Oct 2012
C Spot Angola
Design: Segmento Urbano Arquitectos
‘table, tree, bench and the deep African horizon’
Given the opportunity to be engaged in a project with high social concerns, the C Spot comes as a reflex of a sustainable mission where the developer contributes to reduce levels of illiteracy by awarding the communities where they build roads, and viaducts, and bridges with a Spot, which is more than a school, but actually a space that foments social elevations through education.
Acting as community centers and people gatherers’, the C Spots are supposed to be placed in sites with neither water nor electricity and with poor and uncharacterized urban tissues.
They are therefore designed to be portable, since assembled in main construction yards and then transported into their final site, cheap, with a maximum budget of 25.000USD and with no running costs, easy to build and self sustained.
The objective is to mark Angola’s map with spots with 40 or 50 units to be built within the next 5 years.
The main aim is to invert the concept of (enclosed) space, where the object and the actions taking place within it project themselves towards the horizon, calling the population towards it.
The object is composed by a structure (steel profiles, common material within the Angolan market) and a core (actions within corporized in the blue wood and cement agglomerate panels), that refers both to the developer’s logo as well as to the deepest routes of African learning (tree, bench table and the horizon), where the structure is what makes the core happen.
The cantilevered object, in which the roof acts as a big funnel collecting the rainwater into the tank enclosed within the opaque centre of the plan, is divided into an open shaded area where the learning and community meetings take place, and an enclosed side which holds the toilets and teacher’s room.
The rainwater tank actually makes the threshold between the open and enclosed sides acting as a structural stabilizer.
After being transported to site, the white steel profiles elegantly settle on the ground contrasting with the bright red colors of Angolan soils. The link between the ground and the Spot is made by the use of portable and expandable steps held by the main structure. A secondary structure comes out to perform the tables and benches.
The deep blue wood and cement agglomerate panels then clad and close the needed areas, without touching neither the roof nor the pavement, in order to naturally ventilate the whole object. The roof is designed to hold filled water bottles to enhance natural lighting through the deep blue until dawn.
Totally sustainable, where the only element built on site is the treatment plant for water re-use, the C Spot is design to be resistant, long lasting and to allow flexible uses, as well as acting as a people gatherer and as an urban magnet.
On the whole, the C Spot is a reflex of who makes it all possible, in Angola for Angola, fomenting learning and social elevation through education, in a space that blurs boundaries and that projects itself though the vast African horizon.
Shortlisted WAF 2012, categories Civic and Community and Future Projects – Education
C Spot Angola images / information from Segmento Urbano Arquitectos
African Buildings – Selection
Melaku Center, Tigray, Ethiopia
Architect: Xavier Vilalta
picture from architect
British Council Building, Addis Ababa
British Council in-house architects
photo © James Brittain
British Council Building Africa
Comments / photos for the Angola Architecture page welcome
C Spot Angola Building – page