Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi has bought his floating school to the Venice Biennale where it has been given a Silver Lion award.
The project as part of his research into building for flood-prone regions and Adeyemi and his studio NLÉ said it is “improved, prefabricated and industrialised iteration” of the Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. However it has been modified to suit the Venetian climate.
The studio originally created Makoko Floating School as a building prototype for coastal regions of Africa that have little permanent infrastructure because of unpredictable flooding.
“Just as our first prototype sourced local intelligence from the Makoko waterfront community, MFS II is an improved iteration designed to suit Venetian conditions and a wider waterfront population,” said the studio.
“Adapted for easy prefabrication and rapid assembly, it is more robustly engineered and affords a wide range of uses. It is mobile, deployable, and ready to be reassembled at its next waterfront.”
The school was constructed by four builders in just 10 days – using one tonne of metal and 13.5 tonnes of wood for the structural framework, and 256 plastic barrels as a floatation device. It forms the venue for an exhibition titled Waterfront Atlas, which looks at developing coastal communities.
Adeyemi was awarded the Silver Lion for the project, and described by the jury as a “promising young participant”. They called the school “a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education”.
The Makoko Floating School is also shortlisted for the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.