This Nigerian Architect Wants to Turn Africa’s Water Slums into Floating Cities
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Nigerian architect Kunlè Adeyemi is re-imagining African’s water slums as floating islands.
Nearly 70% of Africa’s capital cities—like Lagos, Luanda and Kinshasa—are near water, with many urban dwellers living in bungalows, wooden structures and shacks on water. But rising sea levels, increasing rainfall and climate change threaten many of these structures, leaving water slum residents vulnerable to flooding.
An innovative new form of architecture, argues Adeyemi, could revolutionize these communities, and make them less vulnerable to the elements.
“What if we begin to think of a new form of urbanism which has areas for high-rise and low-rise buildings, and as you move away from the coast, you create recreational facilities, swimming pools, parks, housing, agriculture and all kinds of things that would essentially produce a new form of architecture, and living on water,” said Adeyemi, speaking at the Quartz Africa Innovators’ Summit in Nairobi on Tuesday (Sept. 14).
You can watch his full remarks here.
Two years ago, Adeyemi developed a floating school in Makoko, a water slum home to over 100, 000 people in Lagos, Africa’s second largest city. The A-frame structure—made out of recycled plastic barrels, wood and bamboo—is solar-powered, naturally ventilated and can store and drain water. Its triangular shape also means that it is best suited for flotation on water, as it has a low centre of gravity—helping the structure remain stable during winds.