Thursday, March 14, 2013

makoko floating school

makoko floating school by NLE architects. makoko, lagos, nigeria.

unpredictable climate changes along the world's most vulnerable coastal communities have produced some fascinating design solutions that test the resiliency of architectural possibilities & the need for adaptation. the coastal community of makoko, a slum neighborhood, off the lagos lagoon in lagos, nigeria, is receiving an upgrade to its current solution, which is building homes supported on stilts within the lagoon's waters. NLE architects, with sponsoring from united nations development programme (undo) & heinrich boell foundation from germany, designed the makoko floating school, phase one of a three-phase development that will become a floating community of interlocked & floating residences. 

the makoko floating school makes use of local materials & resources - wood is used as the main material for the structure, support & finishing. the overall composition is a triangular a-frame section with classrooms located on the second tier. the classrooms are surrounded by public green space, there is a playground below & the roof contains an additional open  air classroom. NLE has also employed strategies to make the floating architecture sustainable by applying PV cells to the roof & incorporating a rainwater catchment system. the structure is also naturally ventilated & aerated.

the completed structure rests on a base of typical plastic barrels. this simple solution reflects a reuse of available materials. the barrels at the periphery can be used to store excess rainwater from the catchment system.

the second phase of the project will include the construction of individual homes that follow the same aesthetic as the school. these elements will be able to connect to each other or may float independently. phase three will allow for the development of a large community of floating architecture. the architecture, as it exists today, is supported on stilts. 

largely a self-sustaining, self-governing fishing community, this past summer the lagos government destroyed & evicted residents to seize property for redevelopment along the waterfront. what the future of makoko will be is unclear - by political or environmental standards. but NLE's design & development of a sustainable floating community & its UN support indicates that the community is looking forward to adapting a resilience to its architecture.

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