Nigeria’s Makoko Floating School
Architecture & Interiors
London’s Design Museum announced its 2013 Designs of the Year winners yesterday, and we don’t mind saying that while a glamorous building by Zaha Hadid was the winner in the Architecture category, our favorite of the 13 architectural nominees remains a humble project being realized a continent away in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Makoko Floating School, a recently-completed pilot project spearheaded by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi and his Amsterdam-based NLÉ practice, is a locally sourced and locally built prototype structure, designed to serve Lagos’ lagoon-living Makoko cmmunity. Built as a school, but theoretically applicable to myriad other functions, the floating building’s strategic triangular shape—built with bamboo and discarded wood—provides the structural stability necessary to withstand destructive weather conditions in an impoverished and overpopulated coastal region beset by climate change and land degradation.
Of monumental value to a water-dwelling local population that has almost no viable infrastructure, is ever more vulnerable to climate conditions, and has just one English-speaking school, the Makoko Floating School aims to provide a tangible and sustainable solution to an imperative need—and for that, we think it deserves design awards aplenty.