As reported by Nigerian news website NAIJ.com, the celebrated Makoko Floating School, designed by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ, has collapsed after heavy rain battered the city of Lagos. Photographs show the roof of the school still largely in tact, but sitting directly on top of the building's floating base of 256 plastic drums, as the lower levels and supporting structure appear to have failed completely.
This article has since been updated (June 8 2016) with a statement from NLÉ.
Details of the event remain unclear. It's unknown how exactly the rain caused the collapse but it has been confirmed by NLÉ (June 8 2016) that there have been no casualties. The structure was designed to accommodate 100 pupils and their teachers in a poor neighborhood which is partly built on stilts above Lagos Lagoon.
In any case, the building's collapse has dealt a blow to NLÉ and the entire profession of architecture. Just over a week ago, NLÉ received the Silver Lion at the 2016 Venice Biennale for their exhibition based on the original Makoko Floating School structure. The jury called the design "a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education."
Statement from NLÉ (June 8 2016)
After 3 years of intensive use, and exceptional service to the community, the first prototype structure Makoko Floating School has come down on June 7, 2016. Following its decommission since March, the structure has been out of use in anticipation of reconstruction. We confirm that there were no casualties and the students had been relocated to the main school building since its decommission and pending reconstruction.
NLÉ, Makoko waterfront community and potential stakeholders were already considering the upgrading of the structure with a copy of MFS II - a new, improved iteration, which was recently launched at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. The project was awarded the Silver Lion prize for "a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education."
NLÉ principal Kunlé Adeyemi said: "NLÉ and Makoko community greatly appreciate the concern and support received from so many people following the news alarm about Makoko Floating School. We are glad there were no casualties in what seemed like an abrupt collapse. The prototype had served its purpose in time and we look forward to the reconstruction of the improved version amongst other greater developments of the community."