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Nlé: The Latest Architecture and News

NLÉ MFS IIIx3 Prototype Launched in China Explores Ecological Intelligence

As part of a collaboration between the Centre Pompidou and the Mao Jihong Arts Foundation, the Cosmopolis #1.5: 'Enlarged Intelligence' exhibition features the developments of NLÉ Makoko Floating School. The Minjiang Floating System (MFS IIIx3), the fourth prototype and the third iteration of the prefabricated self-built system for water, investigates methods to counter the challenges posed by urbanization and climate change.

Earlier prototypes of the Makoko Floating School include the Waterfront Atlas (MFS II) launched in Venice, Italy and the Minne Floating School (MFS III) in Bruges, Belgium. The project, initially developed for the water in Lagos, is now usable in all these sites including the Jincheng Lake in Chengdu.

Courtesy of NLÉCourtesy of NLÉCourtesy of NLÉCourtesy of NLÉ+ 6

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."

Preview the The Shed’s Innovative Programming at Their Temporary Pavilion Designed by Kunlé Adeyemi

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.

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.

Gallery: The Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 72

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Pavilion Opens Alongside 4 Summerhouses

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.

Kunlé Adeyemi's Summerhouse. Image © Iwan Baan       Barkow Leibinger's Summerhouse. Image © Iwan Baan       Yona Friedman's Summerhouse. Image © Iwan Baan       Asif Khan's Summerhouse. Image © Iwan Baan       + 17

12 Things You Need to See at the 2016 Venice Biennale

"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella
"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella

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.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Design Revealed (Plus Four Summer Houses)

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.

Summer house design by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ. Image © NLÉSummer house design by Barkow Leibinger. Image Courtesy of Barkow LeibingerSummer house design by Yona Friedman. Image Courtesy of AECOMSummer house design by Asif Khan. Image © Asif Khan+ 18

Forthcoming Exhibition to Examine 'Creation From Catastrophe'

A new exhibition, opening later this month in London, aims to examine the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural, or man-made, disasters. Including work by Yasmeen Lari, ELEMENTAL, OMA, Shigeru Ban, NLÉ, Toyo Ito, Metabolism (Kenzo Tange and Kurokawa Kisho) and Sir Christopher Wren, who redesigned London in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666, the exhibition will primarily explore contemporary responses to earthquakes and tsunamis. Posing questions about the fragility of architecture, our relationship to nature, and the power of architects to instigate change, it will ask whether we are facing a paradigm shift in the way that cities and communities recover from destruction.

Kunlé Adeyemi: My Practice "Is Not About 'Floating Architecture'"

"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."

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 ArchitectsThe Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ ArchitectsButaro Hospital in Rwanda. Image © Iwan BaanRed 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.

Six Teams Studying Uneven Growth to Exhibit Proposals for Expanding Megacities at MoMA

As the culmination of a 14-month initiative to examine new architectural possibilities for rapid growth in six megalopolises - Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro - the Museum of Modern Art is preparing to open Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities on November 22. The exhibition will present mappings of emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe alongside proposals for a bottom-up approach to urban growth in the highlighted cities by six interdisciplinary teams made up of local practitioners and international architecture and urbanism experts.

Curator Pedro Gadanho, in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), states: 

“The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing roles of architects vis-à-vis ever-increasing urbanization. Each team in the exhibition was asked to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.” 

A synopsis of each team’s work, after the break.

2013 AR+D Awards for Emerging Architecture Announced

The winners of the 2013 AR+D Awards for Emerging Architecture have been announced! The awards, presented by The Architectural Review and now in its 15th year, have seen "projects from locales as diverse as Bloomsbury and the Himalayas." This year over 350 entries were discussed by four esteemed judges, including Sir Peter Cook, and have led to four winners who will share a prize fund of £10,000. See both the four winning entries and the ten highly commended schemes after the break...