7 mar 2013

NLE architects and Makoko community in Lagos: floats idea for life on the water

Today is a rainy day here in Milano and maybe for inspiration, Sustainable Diary speaks of a water story. As you know on our planet water levels are steadily rising, and along west Africa's densely populated coast many waterfront communities are finding themselves inundated with the problem of adaptive housing solutions that withstand swelling tides and swift currents.

NLÉArchitects has been working on a three-phase plan for the waterfront community of Makoko in Lagos, in Nigeria. An estimated 250,000 people live here, they trade, shop and build aquafarms on the lagoon's waters. This slum was said to be created in the 18th century as a fishing village, but has ballooned as others have sought to find a home.
Each year, the tropical rains that lash Lagos, overwhelm the colonial-era drainage system. The NLÉ's project will transform the already buoyant city into a contemporary community on the water's surface with independent floating structures made of local materials applied in new ways.

First step of the project is the realization of the Makoko Floating School, a triangular form in section constructed with timber on a platform supported by empty blue plastic drums. The 3-storey structure contains a common area for children to play on as its base, with two floors for classrooms above it. The energy supply is based on renewable technology, this with the water catchment systems make the dynamic educational facility partially self sustainable.

The school is expected to serve the urgent needs of educating children in the community, and also as a floating building pilot project for African water communities.
"Particularly in view of climate change, there's a need to adapt buildings. We decided to use this as a prototype for developing something whether the water level rises or goes down, the building responds to that," said architect Kunle Adeyemi from NLÉ.
The school was completed in the end of February, the floating houses being finished in September of this year and the Lagos Water Community project by the end of 2014 which will herald a new era for coastal developments in Africa.

More info

Photo credit © NLÉ Architects




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