Green design for the developing world

This design by LED Architecture was an entry in the recent “A House in Luanda: Patio and Pavilion” concept competition, the results of which were on display at the Triennale in Lisbon, Portugal until mid-January, and are currently on their way to Angola for exhibition at the Luanda Triennale. Architects were asked to design a low-cost housing solution for the slums of Luanda, Angola. Though a team of five Portuguese architects won first prize, LED Architecture’s design includes many admirable qualities, particularly in terms of environmental sustainability.

The firm proposed an L-shaped home with earthen outside walls. A continuous wall overlooks the street to ensure privacy, while the inside of the L-shape on the opposite side features a broad loggia and patio. Its uneven columns symbolize the growth of trees, with the roof offering shade as foliage does. Its materials and nature-inspired design make for a building in harmony with its surroundings.

The home was designed to meet Passive Energy standards, thanks to the thermal performance of the adobe bricks, natural ventilation under the roof as well as rainwater collection and storage. The rainwater is harvested by the roof and channelled into tanks above the corridor for storage. This rainwater collection system is particularly sensitive to the needs of the residents of Luanda’s slums, who often find themselves lacking access to water and electricity.

Low-cost building materials including earth, PVC, sheet metal and wood from recycled pallets were envisioned for this home, which also lends itself to self-construction, an concept aimed at empowering the local residents.

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