Venice Architecture Biennale issues award for promising young participant to designer of Makoko Floating School

Silver Lion for Kunlé Adeyemi

Published in City, Speakers & WDCD by

When Kunlé Adeyemi mounts the stage of WDCD Live on 30 June, he will stand there as the fresh recipient of the prestigious Silver Lion from the Venice Architecture Biennale. The award for a promising young participant was awarded to Adeyemi for his design of Makoko Floating School.

Adeyemi, founder of NLÉ with offices in Amsterdam and Lagos (Nigeria), took his floating school design to Venice as part of the international exhibition ‘Reporting From the Front’. The jury decided to award the Floating School because of its ‘powerful demonstration that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education.’ Architecture photographer Iwan Baan recorded the arrival of the floating school through Venice’s Canal Grande in a short video he shared through Instagram.

The school in the hart of Lagos is floating on the river. The three-storey structure contains classrooms on the middle level in enclosed volumes flanked by public green space and playground below, and an additional open-air rooftop classroom above.

‘Makoko Floating School is a building prototype for urbanisation, housing shortage and addressing the impact of climate change,’ Adeyemi says. ‘It is a prototype for new type of architecture and urbanism on the water.’

The Venice Architecture Biennale opened last weekend and can be visited until 27 November.

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