Within a week of its successor being awarded the Silver Lion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, the original Makoko Floating School collapsed. Designed by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Architects, the school was located in the Lagos Lagoon in Nigeria. Now, almost two years later, Lagos-based writer Allyn Gaestel has investigated the vulnerable coastal community and architect behind the project in a remarkable narrative nonfiction piece, "Things Fall Apart."
Kunle Adeyemi: The Latest Architecture and News
New York’s most highly anticipated cultural venue, The Shed, is giving visitors the chance to preview some of their innovative programming a year before its planned opening at a temporary pavilion designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ and artist Tino Sehgal.
To be located at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan – across the street from the rising Hudson Yards development and future home of the Shed – the pavilion has been designed to accommodate a variety of program types with its reconfigurable structure. Events will include concerts, dance battles, discussion panels and more.
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.
Earlier today, the 17th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was unveiled with a press preview ahead of its public opening this Friday. With its 13-meter tall "unzipped wall" of square fiberglass tubes, the pavilion is an impressive presence in Hyde park, standing next to the single-story Serpentine Gallery. As described by Bjarke Ingels in his design statement, the pavilion is all about its visual effects from various angles - going from an expansive, transparent rectangle when viewed from the side, and an opaque, curving sculptural shape when seen from either end.
With so much visual intrigue, the project offers plenty to be explored through photography - and accordingly, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu was there at the opening to investigate the project's visual effects. He also captured the pavilion's neighboring Summer Houses, by Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. Read on to see the gallery.
The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by BIG, has today been unveiled at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, London. The design consists of an "unzipped wall" in which a straight line of tubular fiberglass bricks at the top of the wall is split into two undulating sides, housing the program of the pavilion. For the first time, the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion is also accompanied by four "summerhouses" designed by Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. The Pavilion and summerhouses will open to the public later this week, on June 10th, and will be in place until October 9th. Read on to find out more about all five designs.
There is an enormous intensity of information, knowledge and ideas on display at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting From the Front. With all the Executive Editors and Editors-in-Chief of ArchDaily's platforms in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese in Venice for the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—plus co-founder David Basulto and European Editor-at-Large James Taylor-Foster, who curated this year's Nordic Pavilion—we've pooled together twelve of our initial favourite exhibitions and must-see shows.
The Serpentine Gallery in London has unveiled the designs for this year's prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by BIG, showing an "unzipped wall" which rises to a point above the entrance. In addition to the pavilion, this year the Serpentine gallery will host four smaller "summer houses" designed by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. For these summer houses, the Serpentine Gallery asked the participants to take inspiration from Queen Caroline's Temple, a small, classical summer house near to the gallery that was built in 1734.
Read on to find out more about all five designs.
The Serpentine Galleries have revealed that the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), alongside a surprise announcement that four "Summer Houses" will also be built by internationally acclaimed practices. Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris), and Asif Khan (London) will each design a 25sqm structure inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a neo-Classical summer house built in 1734 and "a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery." In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect, each chosen to design a Summer House has yet to realise a permanent building in England.
Doing architecture is listening. - Norman Foster
Peter Zumthor, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, Diébédo Francis Kéré and three other great architects come together in this Louisiana Channel video to share their thoughts on how to design for different cultures. For most of them, understanding context, collaborating with locals and using architecture to address larger social issues are what makes global architecture a success.
The Royal Institute of British Archtects (RIBA) has announced the launch of its new global architecture award for the world’s best new building, called the RIBA International Prize. Open to any qualified registered architect around the world, the new prize will be awarded to a building that “demonstrates innovative and visionary design whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.”
With its Lakefront Kiosk competition, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is hoping to leave a long-lasting impact and legacy for its city. The ROCK, a submission from NLÉ Architects in collaboration with School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is giving the public the opportunity to shape that legacy. Throughout the course of the event, which opened on October 3rd, eventgoers are invited to Millennium Park to add value to the 1930s limestone rocks that will create the pavilion through carving, painting, performances and other unimagined processes.
"We're not only invested in building on water. It's not about 'floating architecture,' that's really not what my practice is focused on. It's really the relationship between water and the city, between water and humans."
In this intriguing interview produced by Louisiana Channel, founder of NLÉ Architects Kunlé Adeyemi discusses the relationship of his work to water through projects such as Chicoco Radio, their proposal for the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk contest, and of course the Makoko Floating School project. Reflecting on the role of water in human settlement, Adeyemi explains how designing with in the context of water introduces both challenges and opportunities, adding that around the world he believes "we are just starting to brace ourselves and learn to live with water as opposed to fighting it."
As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.
If East Asia is the present focal point of this development, the future indisputably lies in Africa. Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, it is now a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young populations. It seems only fair that Africa’s rich cultures and growing population (predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2025) finally take the stage, but it’s crucially important that Africa’s future development is done right. Subject to colonialism for centuries, development in the past was characterized by systems that were designed for the benefit of the colonists. Even recently, resource and energy heavy concrete buildings, clothes donations that damage native textile industries, and reforestation programs that plant water hungry and overly flammable trees have all been seen, leaving NGOs open to accusations of well-meaning ignorance.
Fortunately, a growth in native practices and a more sensible, sensitive approach from foreign organizations has led to the rise of architectural groups creating buildings which learn from and improve Africa. Combining local solutions with the most appropriate Western ideas, for the first time these new developments break down the perception of monolithic Africa and have begun engaging with individual cultures; using elements of non-local architecture when they improve a development rather than creating a pastiche of an imagined pan-African culture. The visions these groups articulate are by no means the same - sustainable rural development, high end luxury residences and dignified civic constructions all feature - but they have in common their argument for a bright future across Africa. We’ve collected seven pioneers of Africa’s architectural awakening - read on after the break for the full article and infographic.
Curated by the Charles Correa Foundation, the Z Axis is an annual conference bringing together pioneers, thought leaders, influencers, professionals, and students in the fields of architecture and urban design to create an intellectual community focused on issues related to the context of India and the developing world. Fifteen speakers will gather from across the globe to explore the theme of Great City…Terrible Place, including Charles Correa, David Adjaye, Alfredo Brillembourg of Urban Think Tank, Spain's "guerrilla architect" Santiago Cirugeda, Simone Sfriso of Studio TAM Associati and more.
"The architects of the future will begin to be seen more as agents of change,” Kunlé Adeyemi told us outside the 2014 Pritzker Prize Award ceremony in Amsterdam. One of the five international jury members for the 2014 Venice Biennale, Adeyemi is the founder of NLÉ, an architecture and urbanism practice focused on developing cities and known for projects like the Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria.
“There are many lessons learned from the floating school project, starting from engagement with the community…,” Adeyemi said. “The innovation of Makoko Floating School came not only from us, but largely from the community itself. We were simply agents to compose those ideas into a new form or an improvement of what’s already existing.”
Adeyemi was born and raised in Nigeria where he studied architecture at the University of Lagos. In 2002 he joined OMA where he worked closely with Rem Koolhaas for nearly a decade, playing an important role in OMA’s research on the urbanization of Lagos.
See what else Adeyemi had to say about the Makoko Floating School, what it’s like to lead an architecture firm and the role of architects in society in the full video above.
Kunlé Adeyemi, the 38 year-old former disciple of Rem Koolhaas, made headlines last year with his Makoko Floating School, which enabled better access to education a slum community in Lagos. In this profile of Adeyemi and his Practice NLÉ Architects, originally published by Metropolis Magazine, Avinash Rajagopal explores what drives the young architect, explaining why he was selected as one of 10 designers in Metropolis Magazine's 2014 New Talent list.
When the Makoko Floating School was completed in March 2013, it received wildly enthusiastic critical acclaim from the international news media. The simple A-frame structure, buoyed by recycled plastic barrels in a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, was designed by NLÉ, a Lagos- and Amsterdam-based studio founded by the architect Kunlé Adeyemi. The project, intended as a model for how Lagos’s floating community could build simple, sustainable structures for themselves, subsequently faced a few challenges. One of the biggest was winning over local officials, who simply did not know what to make of such a building.
The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to Nigeria, where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.
Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…
On August 18 Al Jazeera will launch “Rebel Architecture,” a new series featuring architects who use design as a form of resistance and activism. By designing for the majority rather than the elite, the architects in “Rebel Architecture” are tackling the world’s urban, environmental and social problems. Through six, half-hour documentaries the series will highlight architects working in Vietnam, Nigeria, Spain, Pakistan, the Occupied West Bank and Brazil.
“In contemporary architecture, people are always concerned with ‘what a beautiful building’; or ‘what a pretty project’ – architecture should be about something more,” said Spanish architect Santi Cirugeda, who will be featured in the series’ first episode. Cirugeda works in Seville reclaiming abandoned urban spaces for the public, despite the fact that self-building is illegal in Spain.