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Lagos: The Latest Architecture and News

Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War

In the course of the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe engaged in a vibrant collaboration with those in West Africa and the Middle East in order to bring modernization to the developing world. Architecture in Global Socialism shows how their collaboration reshaped five cities in the Global South: Accra, Lagos, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.

Łukasz Stanek describes how local authorities and professionals in these cities drew on Soviet prefabrication systems, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe.

Studio Inkline / INKLINE Design Studio

© Mujib Ojeifo Photography © Mujib Ojeifo Photography © Mujib Ojeifo Photography © Mujib Ojeifo Photography + 23

Lagos, Nigeria
  • Architects: INKLINE Design Studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  232
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Berger Paints, First Aluminum, Ikini, Nigerite Limited

Softcom Head Office / Micdee Designs

© Ruby’s Polaroid © Ruby’s Polaroid © Ruby’s Polaroid © Ruby’s Polaroid + 19

Lagos, Nigeria
  • Architects: Micdee Designs
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  768
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Floorkraft, Forte Oil, Glass.ng, Hausba Smarthomes, Precise Lighting , +3

Major Cities Face High Risk of Flooding According to a Goldman Sachs Report

Goldman Sachs has released a report on the effects of climate change on cities across the world. The study explored the major changes that will transform the planet and highlighted several metropolises that will be at risk of flooding.

LuxMare Houses / Mário Martins Atelier

© Fernando Guerra FG+SG © Fernando Guerra FG+SG © Fernando Guerra FG+SG © Fernando Guerra FG+SG + 66

Lagos, Portugal

Villa Pernoi / Mário Martins Atelier

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG + 26

Lagos, Portugal

Sencillo Beach House / cmDesign Atelier

© Medina Dugger © Medina Dugger © Medina Dugger © Medina Dugger + 36

Lagos, Nigeria
  • Architects: cmDesign Atelier
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  9687 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019

SOM Breaks Ground on Alárò City in Nigeria

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have broken ground on Alárò City, a new masterplan development that will connect to Lagos in southwest Nigeria. The mixed-use model community will feature an international trade gateway with a new seaport and airport. Designed for the Lagos State Government and Africa’s largest urban developer Rendeavour, the project is made to boost foreign direct investment to create an economic and cultural hub for West Africa.

Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill + 8

Competition-Winning Ideas for Multi-Purpose Stadiums on Former Lagos Landfill

Architecture research initiative “arch out loud” has announced the winners of their “Waste: Multi-Purpose Stadium” competition, asking participants to speculate on the design of a multi-purpose stadium at the former Olusosun Landfill in Lagos, Nigeria.

The competition was organized in response to the fact that the world creates more than a billion tons of garbage per year, most of which is incinerated, buried, and explored to landfills. As populations and major cities expand, so too must our “ability to reverse wasteful tendencies and begin living more efficiently and sustainably.”

A Deep Dive Into the Sad Story of the Makoko Floating School

© NLÉ architects
© NLÉ architects

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."

Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters / MOE+ Art Architecture

© Medina Dugger and Deji Atte © Medina Dugger and Deji Atte © Medina Dugger and Deji Atte © Medina Dugger and Deji Atte + 16

  • Architects: MOE+ Art Architecture ; Design: Papa Omotayo, Olayinka Dosekun, Hussein Jimoh
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  550
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Tale of Two Cities: Unravelling the Brutal Backstory Behind Africa’s Emerging Megacities."

In the last two decades, the African narrative has changed phenomenally. The tired, age-old storyline—largely woven around the stereotypes of poverty, disease, and bloody civil wars—has been replaced with one celebrating the continent’s unprecedented economic growth and relative political stability. This new narrative is also about Africa’s gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities being designed and built from scratch: Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in Tanzania; Le Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo; Eko Atlantic in Nigeria; Appolonia City in Ghana, and others.

There are currently at least twenty of these new cities under construction in Africa and about twice that number in the works. These developments have permanently altered the continent’s urban outlook, and have offered it something different from the bland pastiche of colonial architecture that it was once known for. As a designer, I was initially excited by the quality of some of the architecture. Though I must admit that these new cities are eerie mimicries of similar developments in China, Singapore and even the UAE, and that they’re largely bereft of any cultural connection to Africa.

The World's Most Creative Neighborhoods: Metropolis Names Mumbai, Lagos and Lisbon Among Top Ten

From Yaba in Lagos to the suburb of Bandra in Mumbai, Metropolis Magazine provides a scenic tour around the world’s “most creative” neighborhoods. Spread across ten rapidly growing cities like Cape Town and Turin, the article provides a comprehensive glimpse into these lesser discussed hubs of creativity.

NLÉ's Makoko Floating School Reportedly Collapses Due to Heavy Rain

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.

Toronto Takes Top Spot in Metropolis Magazine's Livable Cities Ranking

How do you compare cities? It's difficult to collapse millions of individual subjective experiences into a single method of comparison, but one popular technique used in recent years has been to judge a city's "livability." But what does this word actually mean? In their 2015 ranking of the world's most livable cities, Metropolis Magazine has gathered together a group of experts on city planning, urban life, tourism and architecture to break down "livability" into the categories they think matter and draw upon Metropolis' considerable urban coverage to produce one of the most thorough attempts to rank world series yet attempted. Find out the results after the break.

From Prisons to Parks: How the US Can Capitalize On Its Declining Prison Populations

Prisons are often seen as problematic for their local communities. After centuries of correctional facilities discouraging economic growth and occupying valuable real estate as a necessary component of towns and cities, many of these institutions have been relocated away from city centers and their abandoned vestiges are left as unpleasant reminders of their former use. In fact, the majority of prisons built in the United States since 1980 have been placed in non-metropolitan areas and once served as a substantial economic development strategy in depressed rural communities. [1] However, a new pressure is about to emerge on the US prison systems: beginning in 2010, America's prison population declined for the first time in decades, suggesting that in the near future repurposing these structures will become a particularly relevant endeavor for both community development and economic sustainability. These abandoned shells offer architects valuable opportunities to reimagine programmatic functions and transform an otherwise problematic location into an integral neighborhood space.

Why repurpose prisons rather than starting fresh? The answer to this question lies in the inherent architectural features of the prison typology, namely the fact that these structures are built to last. People also often forget that prison buildings are not limited to low-rise secure housing units - in fact, prisons feature an array of spaces that have great potential for reuse including buildings for light industrial activity, training or office buildings, low-security housing, and large outdoor spaces. These elements offer a wide variety of real estate for new programmatic uses, and cities around the world have begun to discover their potential. What could the US learn from these examples, at home and overseas?

The Former Bangalore jail in India, now Freedom Park . Image © Flickr CC user abhisheksundaram Boston's Liberty Hotel Interior. Image © Flickr CC user adewale_oshineye Aerial view of the former Lorton Prison. Image via Bing Maps Freedom Park in Lagos, Nigeria. Image via lagosfreedompark.com + 9

7 Architects Designing a Diverse Future in Africa

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.

Pretoria's Freedom Park, designed by MMA Design Studio with GAPP Architects and MRA Architects. Image Courtesy of MMA Design Studio, GAPP Architects and MRA Architects The Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ Architects Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. Image © Iwan Baan Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya. Image © Alberto Heras + 29

NLÉ Wins Competition to Design Financial Headquarters in Lagos

International design firm NLÉ has recently shared its competition-winning design for the financial headquarters of the microfinance bank Credit Direct Limited. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, in the Ikeja district, the bank’s design abandons the forbidding presence of most financial institutions for one that is open and welcoming. This decision not only invites clientele inside, but creates opportunities for adaptation to the tropical weather of Lagos.