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Makoko Floating School

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Technical Information

  • Award Cycle:
    Status:
    Shortlisted
    Location:
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Client:
    Makoko / Iwaya Waterfront Community
    Architect:
    NLÉ - Shaping the Architecture of Developing Cities / Kunlé Adeyem
    Design:
    2011-2012
    Size:
    Site area: 100 m2; Built area: 220 m2
    Completed:
    2013

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An alternative building system that provides space for education and cultural programmes in Africa’s coastal regions. Some 80,000 people reside in Makoko, in a stilt settlement south of Lagos, built over water, served by only one English-speaking primary school on reclaimed land susceptible to flooding. The Floating School is a prototype structure whose main aim is to generate an alternative building system and urban culture for the populations of Africa’s coastal regions. The triangular A-frame or pyramid (10m high with a 10m x 10m base), built from locally sourced wood and bamboo and buoyed by recycled plastic barrels, is an ideal shape for tall floating objects on water. The structure has three levels: an open play area and community space; an enclosed space for two classrooms for 60 pupils, connected by stairs to the play area; and a semi-enclosed workshop space on a third level. It is scalable and adaptable for other uses, such as housing, health clinic, market, an entertainment centre or an infrastructure hub. The prototype’s versatile structure is a safe and economical floating triangular frame that allows flexibility for customisation and completion based on specific needs and capacities.