The Heinrich Boell Stiftung and its partner organisation NLE, led by the Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, hope to build a three-story school out of 16 floating platforms lashed together, capable of holding 100 students and teachers in the Makoko Community in Lagos State. He said the project, if successful, could be replicated into homes for the more than 100,000 people who live in the area.
The NLE wants to develop an improved type of architecture and urbanism for water settlements in African coastal cities, starting with Makoko. It will start with the small step of building a prototype of a Floating School. A ‘floating’ building simultaneously addresses different issues including flooding, land occupation, and foundation construction. The energy supply is based on renewable energy technology, the currently inexisting sewage system would rely on compost toilets.
The school is to serve the urgent needs of educating children in the community. The prototype floating building will be modular, flexible and adaptable for other building typologies: homes, community centres, playgrounds – to gradually cultivate an improved quality of architecture, urbanism and living on water.
The project involves building the platforms out of locally sourced wood and empty plastic drums, then using wooded beams to build a structure that would have a common area for children to play on as its base, with two floors for classrooms above it. The building would also include bathroom facilities, something lacking in a slum where most relieve themselves by hovering over the water.