The floating school in the slums of Makoko in southwestern Nigeria was opened in the spring of 2013. The author of the project is a Dutch architect Kunlé Adeyemi - a Nigerian by birth. The three-story A-frame structure was built right on the water, its foundation was made of 256 plastic barrels. The electricity is supplied by solar panels installed on the roof. Inside the building there is even a toilet, which is a rare convenience for these places.
This is not the first project in Africa dealing with construction of educational institutions. Kunlé Adeyemi's studio, NLE, developed the Makoko Floating School project as a prototype for school construction in the areas like Makoko, which have no permanent infrastructure due to constant flooding and changing water levels.
The school is half house, half boat. This floating construction provides training facilities for Makoko slums, where more than 100 thousand people live in houses on stilts. Before that, Makoko only had an elementary English school, which was constantly sinking.
The floating structure can accommodate up to 100 adults, even in bad weather conditions. Makoko school was built with the help of a team of local residents, using remains of wood from a neighboring sawmill and local bamboo. Its triangular shape allows the building to have three floors, while remaining afloat and stable even when it is very windy.
The lowest level of the construction is a playground for children. The middle floor is divided into four classrooms, and the upper floor has a small workshop. All three levels are connected by stairs on the side of the construction. The main purpose of the building is to be an educational facility, but it can also function as a space for meetings, clinic or market, depending on the needs of the community.
Kunlé Adeyemi was nominated for the Designs of the Year 2014 by the Design Museum in London. His design is a very promising option for the areas similar to Makoko and maybe even for the future world changes. If this project will be viable enough, it will be possible to create other floating buildings to service the communities living on the water.