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NLÉ ARCHITECTS / NIGERIA: MAKOKO FLOATING SCHOOL, 2012 Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, lies out towards the large lagoon area Makoko. Around 100,000 people live in the area, in houses built on poles. The residents move around in small boats, for there is no formal infrastructure in the area. The neighbourhood is growing rapidly, but climate change means that the sea is rising, and the residents’ houses and the local school are flooded at regular intervals. That is why the Floating School has been developed. It is a pyramidal structure built of wood and bamboo from the local area. The form is ideal for a floating building, because of the relatively low centre of gravity, which gives it stability and balance, even in a strong wind. The building rests on a floating base made of among other things empty recycled plastic barrels. The school has three floors; the ground floor is a playground open to the lagoon. The next floor has classrooms. A stairway on the outside connects the open playground, the classrooms and a workshop on the top floor. The school has been developed as a prototype of a floating, sustainable basic structure that can be re-used for other purposes. It can be scaled up or down and adapted to other functions such as a health clinic, market, entertainment centre or homes. LAGOS 75


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