Universidade Agostinho Neto, Master Plan
Size: 5,000 Acres
American Architecture Award, 2009
The Chicago Athenaeum
This new national university is sited on a 5,000-acre green field site southeast of Luanda. Our master plan, developed in 2000 and updated in 2009, is designed to accommodate 40,000 students when all phases are complete. The guiding principle of the plan was to create a sustainable urbanism. Campus development is concentrated on the semi-arid site leaving much of the existing vegetation and river washes untouched.
An elliptical ring road forms the campus boundary with quadrangles pinwheeling from the central plaza. Academic buildings form the core with research and residential buildings to the south and north, respectively. This organization is a response to the university's desire for the various colleges to be equidistant from the academic core where the library, the tallest building on campus, dominates the central arrival space. Each college includes an auditorium, office clusters, teaching laboratories, and assembly classrooms that are uniquely shaped outdoor sitting classrooms integrated into the building courtyards. Because of the remote location of the campus, more than 18,000 housing units are provided to attract the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff.
Landscaping channels the wind to maximize natural ventilation and cooling. Natural cooling also determined individual building locations and the design of the building envelope. A single undulating roof draws breezes into the shaded courtyards and then through open-air corridors and classroom spaces. Classroom buildings are single-loaded to facilitate ventilation. The cantilevered canopy system provides solar shading and acts as an airfoil to promote cross-ventilation.