Villas Totem

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Location : Baia de Luanda, Angola
Dates : 2012 - Competition
Client : FiniCapital
Design team : Martin Duplantier Architects, MATAG Arquitectos & Associados
Mission : Design Conception
Built area : 3 740 sqm
Cost : 9 M€

In the new district of Ilha de Luanda, the Totem Africano residential building occupies a cramped plot located on the seafront, overlooking the bay and enjoying extensive views over the city. The initial concept overlaped different housing typologies modeling, at the same time, different volumes. These spaces translate into different types of facades, cutting the 10-leveled volume into three separate sets.

The idea suggests a revision of the Classical European building code, differentiating podium, body and head, making it resemble a totem.

Indeed, the project is defined by three different parts – the base, the body and the crown – each corresponding to a particular typology – T1, T3 and T5 Duplex.

If Freud defines totem from the Taboo, this simple distinction between different parts of this building is made by different façade depths and materials – panels of wood, perforated metal sheets and the metal superstructure. These materials mix tradition and modernity, but their selection is primarily guided by sustainability: they are able to sustain facing the sea and a sometimes too casual maintenance while they embody the warm colors of Angola.

In terms of energy savings, a generic double skin sunscreen system reduces calorie intake while giving a specific character to each part of the building.