The Bay of Luanda gave rise to the urban and architectural waterfront of the capital of Angola and is one of its main foundational patterns. Over time, it has been the most important public space of the city and the social and economic epicentre of the country. Through time, the waterfront attached the downtown neighbourhood and afterwards the major urban networks and expansion routes.
Given the current and fast transformation of Luanda downtown, the new Waterfront seeks to protect the urban pattern legitimized by its history. It restructures a vast extension of the urban front and revitalizes its public dimension, which, in a way, had disappeared. With about 3 500m long and 510 000m² of intervention surface on new landfills, the old promenade becomes a large urban park to support the vitality of Luanda public life. And, by capillarity, the new waterfront is supposed to contaminate the adjacent public spaces and, from these, the other ones through the city.
The intervention, apart new infrastructures, comprises a new green layer with trees, bushes and grass, a set of squares connected with the public space system of the city, and pedestrian and bike paths. It has places for civic meetings and places to rest, areas for sport activities, new urban services, equipment and furniture. It enables greater social interaction and boosts recreational and cultural activity.
In this context, the new Luanda Bay Waterfront has a monumental scope. It is a monument that celebrates the city in the most representative, meaningful and charismatic space of its collective life and history. With Luanda Bay Waterfront, Costa Lopes architects (with landscape office Landplan) was selected for the exhibition “100 Architects of the Year 2015”, organized by the Korean Institute of Architects (KIA) with the support of the International Union of Architects (UIA).
Photographer: Fabrice Fouillet