Unfolding urban ambiguities — Prédio do Livro
May 23rd — November 29th, 2021
17th International Architecture Exhibition
La Biennale die Venezia 2021
 

However, in a city where spaces constantly morph into each other and overlap, the notion of a fixed dividing line, establishing rigid differences, is not possible. In this way, we resist drawing the borderlines and edges and focus on the transient nature of such relations. Prédio do Livro is a massive structure whose materiality establishes its presence. However, it is also a threshold:
a fluid and liminal space that enables all types of appropriation and interaction.


In light of new developments and urban regeneration projects, there was a possi-
bility of demolishing the Building. There is nothing formally planned; however, our project starts at the fictional moment of the
WHAT IF Prédio do Livro were to disappear...

Opening up a Boundary


How would Sambinzanga and Miramar relate to each other? How could we mediate between these disparate zones and the in-between that is revealed, activated and performed?

We imagine the demise of Prédio do Livro is a natural event in the context of how the city is evolving. The majority of the build-
ings of the modern movement in the city are in a state of decay until they eventually collapse.


The disappearance of Prédio do Livro
would simultaneously open up the existing boundaries within the Building and reveal the overlaps between different types of territorial, social and cultural borders and the ambiguities in their relationships. It creates a space that is both a void, a cross-
ing space and a connector between the disparate realities. Instead of a dividing line, we imagine the border as an expanded, connecting and relational space.


An idea of a design proposal...

Revealing the boundary raises the challenge of understanding how this new threshold relates to the characteristics of either of its neighbouring spaces. The proposed intervention is divided into
three levels:

— the Green Space: an elevated public
park, including a mirador overlooking the ocean. It provides shadow for the public space below. A ramp leads into the informal Sambizanga neighbourhood.

— the Public Space: the ground level consists of an area with playgrounds and Sports facilities, including a series of small amphitheatres providing areas of together-
ness for the communities. A ramp leads into the informal Sambizange neighbour-
hood.

— the Cultural Space: the lower floor consists of a multi-funcional area which can host diverse cultural activities, as well as small markets.


The intervention addresses disparities of both formal and Self-building neighbor-
hoods. It mimics the characteristic red sand of the site and of the city of Luanda and turns into a sculptural symphony, a promenade that invites people to cross it and discover new public space, a soft zone that promotes encounters and inter-
cultural dialogue. (Paula Nascimento)