during the venice architecture biennale, the silver lion for a promising young participant was awarded to NLÉ (kunlé adeyemi) for the ‘waterfront atlas exhibition’ and ‘MFS II’ — a second iteration of the ‘makoko floating school’. the jury stated that the recognition was endowed because it was ‘a powerful demonstration, be it in lagos or in venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education.’


the ‘waterfront’ exhibition ‘aims to identify, gather and cultivate the intelligence of communities and cities by water. its motivation is to bridge inequality by improving social, economic and environmental conditions worldwide. it is an opportunity for us to think, build, and live differently, by facing the challenges in this age of rapid urbanization and climate change,’ comments the studio.

NLÉ floating school silver lion venice architecture biennale designboom
the project demonstrates how architecture can amplify the importance of education
image © designboom (also main image)



visitors can find ‘MFS II’, an improved, prefabricated and industrialized iteration of the makoko floating school’ floating at the biennale. the former is part of an extensive research called ‘african water cities’. the design appears triangular in section, constructed with a parallel series of timber A-frames on a platform supported by emptied blue barrels. the three-storey structure contains classrooms at its middle level in enclosed volumes flanked by public green space and a playground below. an additional open-air rooftop classroom is found above. photovoltaic cells on the roof collect solar energy, which, coupled with water catchment systems, make the dynamic educational facility partially self-sustainable. slender wooden slats create a shading device along the outer envelope, while with well-ventilated spaces maintain a comfortable interior environment.

NLÉ floating school silver lion venice architecture biennale designboom
the ‘floating school’ is part of an extensive research called ‘african water cities’
image © designboom

NLÉ floating school silver lion venice architecture biennale designboom
the school floating at the venice biennale
image © designboom

NLÉ floating school silver lion venice architecture biennale designboom
the three-storey structure contains classrooms at its middle level
image © designboom

portrait of kunlé adeyemi at the 2016 venice architecture biennale
image © designboom

the structure is lifted from the waterway
image courtesy of NLÉ

the floating school departing venice
image courtesy of NLÉ

  • Looks nice, but high ratio of structure material to useable space

    trimtab21 says:

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