CNLL Architects – Vision & Projects

CNLL Architects – The Founder, Vision And Projects In Africa

When people look at buildings, they see the design, space usage, and aesthetic appeal to the environment. CNLL architects have human emotion at the centre of their designs. To them, shapes and styles in their designs would be void without the people who will be impressed with the design. 

CNLL Architects appreciate that the principal role of architecture is to trigger human emotions. When architecture gives people a «sense of place», where they feel calm and collected, the designer achieves the core objective of architecture.

The Founder

Carlos Nuno Lacerda Lopes, the founder of CNLL Architects, has always believed that buildings should first and foremost be designed and built for the people who will occupy them. The architect should be able to communicate with people in his designs. When people get the emotional meaning behind the designs, only an architect should be satisfied with his design. 

Carlos studied Architecture, and he graduated in 1986. Today, he is an architect and a Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto, Portugal. His belief in people and emotions is evident in his Ph.D. thesis, «Projects and Ways of Living». 

Carlos’ beliefs about design and the creative process can be seen in all the designs created by the CNLL architects across the globe. The values, quality criteria, and methodologies seek to appeal to the senses of the people who will see and use the buildings. 

Even though architecture is always evolving, human emotions and reactions towards architectural designs remain constant. This is why CNLL continues to change its designs by including the use of modern technologies, but what remains constant is the need to trigger human emotions.

CNLL Projects In Africa

New Bugesera International Airport

The New Bugesera International Airport is one of CNLL’s projects in Africa. Airport Design Management, an Austrian-based company, developed the preliminary design. The CNLL architects came in to add details to the designs.  

The new airport will be approximately 23km from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. It will have a 3,750m runway, a presidential terminal, a modern terminal building, offices, and more infrastructure deemed necessary for an international airport. 

The design considers the current and future demands of the airport’s facilities. Additionally, the architects are considering future expansion in their design. The gross floor area of the current design is 93,250m², while the site area is 2.85ha. 

Accra Bank – Ghana

Accra Bank is another of CLL Architect’s projects in Africa. It is a bold design that explores curves to turn what would have been an ordinary building into an iconic one, with the perfect interior ambience.  

This building is a mixed-use property. It has offices, banking halls, and retail shops. The design uses the latest technology to facilitate easy access and movement through the entire building. 

The curves give an illusion of a building shaped by wind forces, the sun’s path, and Ghanian landscapes. 

MTower – Maputo, Mozambique

MTower is one of the landmarks in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique. The entire building area is 54,000m². The curvy design gives an illusion of movement from the base to the upper floors. 

The exterior has a mesh-like finish, and it depicts the capulana, a traditional outfit worn by Mozambican women.

Besides its aesthetic value, MTower supports exterior elevation. The window bays and outdoor areas are protected with a porous mesh. The mesh also allows for natural ventilation, lighting, and shade. 

This design was part of a competition for a singular building that would form a landmark for Maputo’s skyline. CNLL not only rose to the challenge, but the team also used this chance to showcase Mozambican culture using this outstanding building design. 

Corimba Housing Complex And Park

The Corimba Housing Complex And Park is a large project covering an expansive area of 157.660m2. The vision of this project was to build a housing project surrounded by greenery and ensure both the park and housing complex complement each other. 

The project covered four main areas;

  1. Housing

The housing component covered three 12-storey residential buildings, with 334 apartments. The design covered future expansions and was flexible enough to accommodate socio-cultural demands and the evolution of Luanda, Angola’s capital. 

  1. Trade & Services

The ground floor of the housing complex is used for commerce. The expansive park beyond the 12 commercial spaces adds to the appeal of this project since it takes away the feeling of being in any other mixed development in the city centre. The mezzanine floor gives a sense of continuity and purpose as clients move from one store to the next. 

  1. The Green Zone

The Green zone was an important area. The native tree species and green play area are part of the appeal of this project and, likely, the major selling point for those buying and renting the apartments. The green fence offers privacy and adds to the picturesque nature of this property. 

  1. The Parking Area

The parking area overlooks the sea. However, the underground parking provides extra slots to cater to the parking needs of the residents. The underground parking covers two floors. 

These are some of the projects that CNLL has undertaken in Africa. Now that the company has an office in Angola, the architects will have more signature building designs to change the skyline in more African countries.


Mario El Africano


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