2016 VENICE BIENNALE:
Dutch-Nigerian firm NLÉ and its founder, Kunlé Adeyemi, won the 2016 Venice Biennale Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant for work in educational projects. The Biennale jury praised the practice, started in 2010, for its "powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education."
Project DescriptionFROM THE AGA KHAN AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE:
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.