A House in Luanda Competition

Type: Competition Location: Luanda, Angola Team: Pedro Campos Costa, Christofer Silva, Daniela Figueiredo, Eduardo Costa Pinto e Alessia Allegri Client: Lisbon Architecture Triennale

One tyre is discarded per person per year, that means approximately 6 billion used tyres per year in the world. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported 290 million tyres were produced in 2003. The industry of tyre recycling produces sub-products, like rubber flooring for sports facilities, components for streets and high ways, the soles of shoes, and car accessories. Even so, only 30% of the material can be reused. We live in times of permanent crises. As our perception of the world changes, we become aware of the impossibility that a world with such big imbalances can continue to sustain our lifestyles. Society looks like a hysteric human screaming, waving and theorizing about definitions, possibilities and scenarios, lost in a swamp of existentialisms and relativism. We would like to centre. Centring ourselves in the “Being-in” is a metaphor for this project. Being-in as "residing alongside" and "being-familiar with". This “Being-in” is understood in the everyday of the "they" as a “being-at-home.". 90% of Luanda’s population lives in the “musseques”, settlements with difficult living conditions. Some of these areas have no basic infrastructure, such as running water and sanitation. To build a home in Luanda it is necessary to ground ones reality in the context, so that one does not simply create a small replication of a western neighborhood, which would be alien to our “Being-in”. The proposal is for an urban insertion, specific to a real given situation, which breaks and opens possible connections and references to its urban surroundings. The majority of buildings in Luanda are built with imported materials which are very expensive. We proposed a more sustainable approach, using materials available locally around Luanda. In this project the walls were built from used tires filled with rammed earth. The rubber is a good construction material, highly durable, water proof, and very resilient. It can also be very easily reused in other products. With a rammed earth interior we have a perfect construction for local weather conditions. A rammed earth wall has low thermal transmittance, is isolated and protected, and has a high thermal inertia to maintain a cool indoor environment for as long as possible. Cross-ventilation, from external walls to the patio adds to the passive qualities fundamental to the design concept of using these materials. The tyre house is divided in 9 modules. The WC, kitchen and entrance form one module each. The other 6 modules are rooms and other flexible space that can be sub-divided into 12 compartments to be used as the family wants. This house requires 1440 tyres to be built. With approximately 3 million tyres used in Angola annually, it might be possible to make 2050 houses in one year. It´s not necessary to reinvent the wheel, it´s necessary to reuse it.