CNAD Mindelo, Cape Verde

The National Centre for Arts Crafts and Design (Centro Nacional de Arte, Artesanato e Design) in Mindelo on the island of São Vicente has been refurbished. The centre (also known as CNAD) dates from 1977 and from 1979 it has been located within an old colonial house. The refurbishment has transformed the building into a bright, modern facility. The new façade is a brightly coloured wall, comprising about 3000 coloured barrel lids. The explanation of the facade is that each of the colours represents a musical note. The arrangement of colours reproduces a piece of music written by Vasco Martins, a composer from São Vicente.

The architect Ramos Castelano talking about the design, said “The project aims to be an architectural exclamation that draws attention to the melting pot of Cape Verde, a country where Africans and Europeans met and a unique culture. It is a movement of resistance to colonisation that seeks to raise awareness and create a local identity. When a material destined for the landfill can be transformed into a valuable and identity-giving local project, will the architecture into a manifesto of equality that can erase the now backward conception of first, second and third world”.

Work started on the restoration in 2019, but was then halted by the Covid pandemic. The completed project was opened recently by the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva.

[05 August 2022]