Resilient floating school provides reliable education in flood-prone African village

NLE
© NLE

When the going gets tough, the tough get floating -- as it so appears in this resourceful new school in the former fishing village of Makoko, Nigeria that floats to deal with the region's frequent floods. Designed by NLÉ, a firm founded by Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi, the Makoko Floating School is a prototype that could be applied to other areas in Africa that face infrastructural and social challenges due to climate change.

© NLE
© NLE

The designers say on Dezeen:

[Makoko Floating School] is a movable 'building' or 'watercraft' currently located in the aquatic community of Makoko in the lagoon heart of Africa's second most populous city - Lagos, Nigeria. It is a floating structure that adapts to the tidal changes and varying water levels, making it invulnerable to flooding and storm surges. It is designed to use renewable energy, to recycle organic waste and to harvest rainwater.

© NLE
© NLE

Built with sixteen recycled empty plastic barrels and locally-grown bamboo with the help of local builders, the 2,368-square-foot floating school can now accommodate primary school students, who were often denied access to daily education, due to the fact that the area's local English-speaking primary school was often flooded. This new flood-resistant school can hold anywhere from 60 to 100 students, or 100 adults.

© NLE

Built with a distinctive 32-foot high triangular form -- "an ideal shape for a floating object on water due to its relatively low centre of gravity, [providing] stability and balance even in heavy winds" -- the school has 3 storeys, all of which can be adapted to the needs of the community (for events, clinics, markets, gatherings, etc.).

© NLE
© NLE

The designers envision whole communities built in this clever fashion, which can float with on the rising waters of a natural disaster. Check out our other post on flood-resistant, floating bamboo homes, and see more over at Dezeen and NLÉ.

CORRECTION: The floating platform is made of "16 wooden modules, each containing 16 [recycled empty plastic barrels]." We apologize for the error.

Tags: Architecture | Education | Natural Disasters | Nigeria

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