Angola National Radio (former Broadcasting Center)

Angola National Radio (former Broadcasting Center)

Luanda [São Paulo de Luanda], Luanda, Angola

Equipment and Infrastructures

Located on Comandante Gika Avenue the National Radio of Angola (1963 - 1967) is a brutalist mega-structure, at East of Alvalade neighbourhood, with an iconic presence in the urban fabric of Luanda.

The building is designed by Fernão Simões de Carvalho (1929-), together with José Pinto da Cunha (1921-1985) and Fernando Alfredo Pereira (1927), under the competition "Plano Radiodifusão de Angola ", promoted in 1961 by Centre for Information and Tourism of Angola.

Fernão Simões de Carvalho does in 1957, the Competion for the Diploma of Architect (CODA) concerning a Television Centre, so in 1961 will present itself as an experienced candidate with deep knowledge generated by study visits to radios in France (Paris, Rennes and Strasbourg), Germany (Banden-Banden and Hamburg) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Hilversum).


The built project corresponds only to the first phase of the project covering the studios block, and workshops building, located northeast of the lot, with a total construction area of 11,500 m2.

The studios block is a rectangular box volume Northwest-Southeast oriented, and positioned along the main road in the center of the plot area for the release of space for garden areas in the building area. The topography modeling allowed the definition of a main floor at street level, which is accessed through a bridge-volume located on the northwest main facade, and a semi-underground floor for technical areas and storage. The entrance hall is a semi-outdoor space coated white marble and terrazzo, where a water mirror and a shading pergola is drawn, and by which is defined the access to the protruding volume on the roof which corresponds to the multiuse studio.

The rectangular plan has 101.35 meters long, by 64, 75 meters wide, and is designed based on the metric system of Le Corbusier, Modulor, organized in modules of 3.66 meters. The program is arranged and organized from a longitudinal main corridor lightened by circular skylights. Between this hall and the Northeast facade recording and editing studios are located, as well as various technical booths, in-between these functional areas inner courtyards are designed acting as light wells allowing light and ventilate to the circulations of the semi-underground floor. Between the hall and the Southwest façade music recording studios and their technical areas are placed.

The building is a huge volume surrounded by deep concrete grid covering the glass facade composed of frames of adjustable slats of glass (beta-windows) allowing shading and ventilation of the interior. On Southwest and Northeast facades is drawn a deep grid of concrete, which lies on a water surface over the entire Southwest façade, and on a garden in the Northeast facade. The Northwest and Southeast facades, in a less favorable sun exposure, vertical blades oriented at 45 degrees on the base are set. On the main Northwest façade the exception is granted by an opaque surface covered with glazed tiles. The façade composition through these different concrete grids solutions is framed by the thickness of the floor slab and the upper beam, horizontal lines highly expressive limiting entire volume.

The National Radio of Angola is clear referenced to the béton brut research of Le Corbusier present in projects such as the La Tourette Convent in which Fernão de Carvalho Simões participated.

The building remains functioning and in good condition, having been added some constructions that constrain the reading of the whole volume.


Original by Ana Magalhães

(FCT: PTDC/AUR-AQI/103229/2008)

Adaptation by Ana Tostões e Daniela Arnaut.