Makoko Floating School/ Lagos, Nigeria


This project is the second of the Educational Week series and a follow-up of a previous post, part of an innovative group of projects developed to support imminent geographical alterations due to climate change.

Many coastal and waterfront communities are finding themselves inundated with the problem of adaptive housing solutions that withstand swelling tides and swift currents. Flood-proof schemes are floating around most commonly implementing various stilt systems to elevate the structure above predetermined water lines, but even this solution becomes static at a certain point. NLÉ architects has been working on a three-phase plan for the waterfront community of makoko in Lagos, Nigeria that 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.


Phase one of the project consists in the realization of the ‘makoko floating school,’ a triangular form in section constructed with a parallel series of timber A-frames on a platform supported by emptied blue barrels. the three-storey structure contains classrooms on the middle level in enclosed volumes flanked by public green space and playground below, and an additional open-air rooftop classroom above. Rooftop PV cells on the roof collect solar energy, coupled with water catchment systems make the dynamic educational facility partially self sustainable. Slender wooden slats create a shading device along the outer envelope along with well ventilated spaces to maintain a comfortable interior environment.

phase two includes the construction of floating housing units that can be interlocked or float independently. Following the same aesthetic and functional principles as the school, the houses will also contain a state-of-the-art device designed by japanese company air danshin systems inc that detects certain movements (such as earthquake tremors) and activated a compressor that pumps air into a chamber below the structure so that the dwellings may navigate safely over a flood plain. The final phase will see the creation of an entire floating community fully equipped to deal with flooding problems while maintaining an improved quality of life. scheduled for completion for the end of 2014, the master plan is expected to mark a new wave in resilient architecture in high-water zones.

Via, photos

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