people reside in Makoko, in a stilt settlement south of Lagos, built over
water, served by only one English-speaking primary school on reclaimed land
susceptible to flooding. The Floating School is a prototype structure whose
main aim is to generate an alternative building system and urban culture for
the populations of Africa’s coastal regions. The triangular A-frame or pyramid
(10m high with a 10m x 10m base), built from locally sourced wood and bamboo
and buoyed by recycled plastic barrels, is an ideal shape for tall floating
objects on water. The structure has three levels: an open play area and
community space; an enclosed space for two classrooms for 60 pupils, connected
by stairs to the play area; and a semi-enclosed workshop space on a third
level. It is scalable and adaptable for other uses, such as housing, health clinic,
market, an entertainment centre or an infrastructure hub. The prototype’s
versatile structure is a safe and economical floating triangular frame that
allows flexibility for customisation and completion based on specific needs and
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Note: (3/29/2020) NLÉ received the Silver Lion at the 2016 Biennale di Venezia for an improved prototype of the structure. The citation commended the project as "a powerful demonstration, be it
in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education."1
Shortly after, the original structure collapsed in heavy rains.2
Architettura 2016 2016 | Awards Of The Biennale Architettura 2016.” La
Biennale Di Venezia. Accessed March 29, 2020a.
Archived at https://perma.cc/DVC9-QEWB
Andrew. 2016. “Does Makoko Floating School‘s Collapse Threaten The
Whole Slum’s Future?” The Guardian. June 10, 2016.
Archived at https://perma.cc/JL8R-GZKD.
Shortlisted Projects: Infrastructure in Architecture and Plurality. Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi. Zurich: Lars Muller Publishers, 2016.
This publication features the winners and shortlisted projects for the 13h cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
This book brings together a diverse range of exemplary architectural projects from across the globe. Carefully selected and examined by a team of experts, these projects demonstrate innovative approaches that respond to the challenges and potentials of contemporary conditions and contexts.
One guiding principle of this 13th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is the importance of plurality. Since its inception the Award has aimed to be inclusive and to embrace the engagement of a diverse group of users. But equally, it has sought projects that explore a plurality of methods and architecture in achieving that goal.
Here, the authors of the essays use that productive tension between architecture and plurality not only to provide a framework for the examination of the projects but also to explore the intellectual and projective means by which architecture are plurality can find other common grounds in the future.