Municipal Market of Kinaxixe/Kinaxixi (Quinaxixe)
Luanda [São Paulo de Luanda], Luanda, Angola
Equipment and Infrastructures
This was a notable work by Vasco Vieira da Costa (1911-1982) who worked as an architect at Luanda Town Hall after studying architecture at Porto and urbanism in Paris where he was an assistant to Le Corbusier. His connection to the Town Hall of Luanda, to which he returned to work already as an architect, gave him the opportunity to design one of the most important works of the Modern Movement in Angola, the Quinaxixe Market. It was a “first work”, thus became a founding work establishing a whole school of modern architectural production in Angola. Designed and built between 1950-1952 it was located in an area of Luanda’s urban expansion. The market was inserted in a rectangular area, in a volume double height, with access by stairs and ramps, partially resting on pilotis and built around two courtyards. The terraced roof was marked by porticoes and sculptural volumes culminating the promenade architecturale that extended through the building. On the different elevations, projecting volumes, horizontal slits and irregular openings shielded by shade panels conveyed a sense of diversity and movement to the building and the surrounding urban area. A project influenced by Le Corbusier, it was one of the finest examples of modern architecture built in the former overseas provinces. Located facing a wide urban square the building seemed to regulate and organize the whole surrounding area with its simple geometry, a crucial element that marked the urban place and its neighboroods. It encapsulated the Modern Movement in the period of its construction and was, therefore, considered the symbol of Modern Architecture in Angola. Moreover, it was the “cry for freedom” which, defying the colonial regime, imposed a new architectural approach. The building was demolished in August 2008 to the great grief of the population of Luanda who had become used to seeing and feeling that “cry for freedom”.