Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception (present day Cathedral)
Sumbe [Novo Redondo], Kwanza Sul, Angola
A project of 1966, conceived by Francisco Castro Rodrigues, with stability calculations by engineer Resende de Oliveira, it stands on a plateau fronting the sea at Novo Redondo/Sumbe. It is composed of three autonomous elements in exposed concrete and brick, rendering and aluminium, united by a continuous base of solid brick: prismatic tower, cylindrical baptistery and nave with a triangular section – the later evoking the conical topography of the formerly existing hill which was bulldozed to enable the action of the sea winds over the city. The design of the interior includes the natural expression of structural elements and of construction materials with the formal quality of the functional elements – stained-glass window, baptismal font, relief tiles by the sculptor Clotilde Fava – in the pared down style characteristic of the architecture of the Modern Movement. It is a building with a design that, in formal terms, recalls the churches of that period by Frank Lloyd Wright.