Costalopes - Angola
The Sapiens Building (Polytechnic Institute of Science and Technology) is located in a semi-industrial area, on an intermediate topographic platform between the northern limit of downtown, not far from Luanda’s harbour and the Central Railway Station, and the bottom of the cliff just bellow the residential neighbourhood of Miramar. The situation was very challenging, even more when considering the implantation on a wedge plot, next to Municípios Portugueses Street, already very compacted by two towers, one of offices with 14 floors and the other of housing with 20 floors. The polyhedral volume occupies the available plot completely. On one hand, its abstraction fits better to the close proximity of the towers and, despite its six floors, guarantees its formal consistency. On the other hand, expanding the concrete structure, the continuous and surgical precise galleries dramatize the polyhedral whole and become tropicalized mediators of light and shadow, allowing the views over the city and delivering an elegant urban vibration. Finally, this same expression denounces the firm rationalization and public fluidity of the educational program, unified between the peripheral galleries and the circulatory heart of the building, and between the cafeteria on the roof terrace and the ground floor open to the exterior, with the public mission being celebrated in the big auditorium. The Sapiens Building transforms the contingencies to its own advantage, intense in its urban presence and generous in its public delivery.