Makoko Floating School
Lagos, Nigeria

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.


Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture


Note: (3/29/2020) NLÉ received the Silver Lion at the 2016 Biennale di Venezia for an improved prototype of the structure.  The citation commended the project as "a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education."1

Shortly after, the original structure collapsed in heavy rains.2


1.
“Biennale Architettura 2016 2016 | Awards Of The Biennale Architettura 2016.” La Biennale Di Venezia. Accessed March 29, 2020a. https://www.labiennale.org/en/architecture/2016/awards-biennale-architettura-2016. Archived at https://perma.cc/DVC9-QEWB

2.
Esiebo, Andrew. 2016. “Does Makoko Floating School‘s Collapse Threaten The Whole Slum’s Future?” The Guardian. June 10, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jun/10/makoko-floating-school-collapse-lagos-nigeria-slum-water. Archived at https://perma.cc/JL8R-GZKD.


Location
Lagos, Nigeria
Images & Videos
Documents
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Events
Design 2011-2012
completion 2013
Dimensions
Built area: 220 m²; total site area: 100 m²
Variant Names
Makoko Floating School
Building Usages
school
educational
Materials/Techniques
wood
bamboo
plastic (recycled)
Keywords
Aga Khan Award for Architecture Shortlisted Project