Al Jazeera’s “Rebel Architecture” showcases “Working on Water”

The last time we discussed Al Jazeera’s new series ‘Rebel Architecture’, the topic was on Spain’s ‘Guerilla Architect’, and this time, as we take a look back at the series, we’re gonna discuss architectural structures that float on water. It’s not quite walking on water, but it’ll do since this story in just incredibly interesting.  In Nigeria, architect Kunlé Adeyemi has been designing floating buildings in order to resolve overcrowding and flooding issues in the country’s waterside slums. Adeyemi states that he is “constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities.” However, despite his studio’s (NLÉ) easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable floating building prototype and the praise and awards they have accumulated, Adeyemi continues to struggle getting construction approval from the local authorities.

As mentioned earlier, Adeyemi’s pioneering floating buildings aim to solve issues of flooding and land occupation, which affect hundreds of thousands of the population in Nigeria, as well as other African coastal cities — which include the 85,000 people residing in the Lagos, Makoko slum. His studio’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable floating prototype building, in which one of this is currently being converted into a classroom by an local overcrowded school.  The only issue standing in the way is getting approval from the authorities so he can roll out the prototype.

During that project, Adeyemi has been working on a floating radio station for a community NGO, located roughly several hundred kilometres away in Port Hartcourt, However, the regional government is hoping to redeveloping the area, and along with a multi-billion dollar plan that involves the gentrification and displacement of its current residents, rather than improving living conditions in the slums. Wow, THAT sounds familiar, huh? Anyway, this episode centers around whether or not Kunlé can get his plans for his buildings afloat in time.

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