In Pemba, Mozambique’s most northerly port, architects and landscape designers have constructed three 9-storey buildings employing local labour and skilled professionals. Known as Port Amelia until 1975, Pemba and its population of 200,000 people mainly orientate around its economy as a logistics hub for a Liquefied Natural Gas facility being built in the nearby township of Palma.
Designed by Lisbon-based architects Promontorio for client Grupo Entreposto, the mixed use property, LATITUDE, includes two residential units and one office block. The site was completed over three years, opening in 2017. A construction strategy emphasised the need for simple assembly as well as minimal maintenance needs. The building used repeated vertical GRC slats to create a shading system, wrapping around the solid brick walls placed on a concrete base.
All construction companies used labour from the area, amounting to 90% local employees across the entire project. During the design phase, five architects, one landscape architect and a quantity surveyor worked with eight engineers and six contract workers across structural, hydraulic, electrical, geotechnics and mechanical requirements. A similar headcount mirrored the contributions during the construction phase.
Local aggregate materials were in-part used, including the constituents of concrete, gravel, sand and water. The supply of finishing materials (Vale da Gândara bricks, elevators, kitchen ceramics, crockery, kitchen furniture, among others) were always imported, mostly from Portugal.
The project is located on the busy intersection of Xai avenue, a roadway that connects the beaches and city centre with the state road, EN106, as well as the route to the airport. Given the prominence of the junction and the comparable height of the three units, LATITUDE is easily identifiable from any part of Pemba.
Fore more information, visit promontorio.net. Images: Carlos Mendes