NLÉ, Floating School in Nigeria
Learning on the water of Lagos
Lagos, Nigeria
The project has a total surface of 220 m2 and its construction finishes in 2013. Even though it was conceived as a school, the constructive prototype aims to be also used as housing, market or as a health clinic.

About 100,000 people live in the stilt dwellings of Makoko, a lagoon-side neighborhood in the heart of the African continent’s second most populated city, Lagos. Constructions here are very precarious, hardly able to resist the inclemencies of nature (torrential rains, floods, strong winds, and so on), which because of climate change are especially aggressive in the area. In this context, the studio NLÉ, founded in 2010 by the Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi and established between Amsterdam and Lagos, designs the new school of the community with a double mission: to provide residents with and educational facility and a civic reference, and to serve as a typological and constructional model for further building. Rising ten meters over a rectangular base, the school is built with a timber structure whose pyramid geometry, because of its low gravitational center, is highly stable as well as resistant and very rigid; after all, it is intended to take in a hundred people in adverse weather conditions. Unlike traditional water structures, where the posts are firmly set on the bottom of the body of lake or river, the Makoko school rests on a floating base made of plastic drums that were salvaged from one of the city’s numerous dumps, held together with the help of a robust wooden lattice. This unsubmersible plinth is formed by several modules constructed on land but assembled on water. And all this with the active participation of Makoko local community.

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The three floors of the school house an open play area for the breaks on the ground floor, classrooms for 100 students on the second level and a semi enclosed workshop space on the third. _x005F_x000D_
_x005F_x000D_ Because it floats on water, the school can withstand the high tides of the area. Its structure is formed by a mesh of wooden beams that rest on a floating base of empty drums made of recycled plastic.

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©Iwan Baan
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