Financial Times – March 2016

Instead of simply building flood defences, designers are beginning to create structures and buildings that embrace water.


‘Lagos shows how a city can recover from a deep, deep pit’: Rem Koolhaas talks to Kunlé Adeyemi In 1997 two architects set out to rethink Lagos, an African megacity that had been largely abandoned by the state. Amid the apparent chaos and crime, they discovered remarkable patterns of organisation. Two decades later, Rem Koolhaas… Continue reading THE GUARDIAN – FEBRUARY 2016

Wallpaper – February 2016

Earlier this month, news of the expanded Serpentine Pavilion sent ripples of excitement through the capital, and now we’ve been granted a first look at the main pavilion and accompanying four Summer Houses taking shape this summer.

Designboom – February 2016

unveiled at the same time as this year’s serpentine pavilion design by bjarke ingels group (BIG), four other architects have been commissioned to present their version of a summer house/folly. the expanded program intends to introduce contemporary architecture to a wider audience with the design of a summer house which references a classical building by… Continue reading Designboom – February 2016


Climate change, urbanization and floodings: the aquatic city of Makoko, Nigeria.


In a village stricken with poverty, the Makoko Floating School in Lagos serves as an educational model of how to build prosperous communities on the water.


In tandem with the 16th Pavilion in 2016, the Serpentine Galleries has expanded its internationally acclaimed programme of exhibiting architecture in a built form by commissioning four architects to each design a 25sqm Summer House. The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house, built in 1734… Continue reading SERPENTINE GALLERY – FEBRUARY 2016

Louisiana Channel – January 2016

7 Architects Bridging Cultures “Doing architecture is listening.” Some of the greatest architects of our time – from Peter Zumthor to Jean Nouvel and Diébédo Francis Kéré – here share their inspirational thoughts on what it is that makes global architecture work.

Jury RIBA Prize – December 2015

A major new prize aimed to discover the best new buildings from around the globe is being unveiled today (8 December) by the RIBA, and proudly partnered with Wallpaper*. The 2016 RIBA International Prize will honour a building which exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition, and delivers meaningful social impact.
On the prestigious judging panel, chaired by Richard Rogers, is Nigerian-born Kunle Adeyemi, an inspiring young architect, whose firm NLÉ is based in Amsterdam.


A floating school is giving the children of a fishing community in Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, the chance of a better life. The BBC’s Martin Patience went to speak to some of the pupils about their aspirations.


They are buildings in which to teach and learn – but they can be magnificent too. Jonathan Glancey discusses some of the most stunning seats of learning.


When architect Kunlé Adeyemi designed a floating school in Lagos, Nigeria – which captured global attention – it was a sort of homecoming for him. He began life near water, nearly 800km north of Lagos in Kaduna, which means crocodile in the Hausa language, as the river running through his home city was indeed dotted with lounging reptiles.


Rising sea levels in some of Africa’s largest cities are leaving water slum residents vulnerable to flooding, this is according to Kunle Adeyemi, developer of the Makoko Floating School, an innovative new form of architecture that could revolutionise water communities in Nigeria.


The final lakefront kiosk, titled “Rock” and designed by Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi in association with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has unmistakable echoes of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater house. Among them is a platform that will cantilever over protective rock walls at Lincoln Park’s Montrose Beach.


NLÉ is founded in 2010 by Kunlé Adeyemi and based in Lagos and Amsterdam. They are quickly fulfilling their mission to shape the physical, human, cultural and economic architectures of developing cities. With several remarkable projects such as ‘ROCK – Chicago Lakefront Kiosk’ – you can read more about this below, as wel as the corresponding exhibition ‘Rock & The Bean’ – we thought it was time for a spotlight on this notable agency.


With its Lakefront Kiosk competition, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is hoping to leave a long-lasting impact and legacy for its city. The ROCK, a submission from NLÉ Architects in collaboration with School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is giving the public the opportunity to shape that legacy. Throughout the course of the event, which opened on October 3rd, eventgoers are invited to Millennium Park to add value to the 1930s limestone rocks that will create the pavilion through carving, painting, performances and other unimagined processes.


Big limestone blocks currently displayed in Millennium Park near the Bean will be reassembled at Montrose Beach as part of a dramatic concrete-and-stone kiosk called “Rock” that will project out over the lakefront. It’s from the School of the Art Institute and Nigerian-born architect, who is based in Lagos and Amsterdam.

Fifty under Fifty

The architects, designers, artists and others represented in 50 Under 50 are innovators of our time. After a world-wide search of 50 top architecture and design firms by the editors, lead author Beverly Russell along with Eva Maddox and Farooq Ameen help bring together a unique body of work; all partners in these firms will be 50 years old or under at the time of publication, and represent a forward-thinking generation of creative people, aware of global issues that urgently need solutions through imaginative design.
The innovators featured in this impressive volume share with us, and the world, their desires for exponential learning; designs are illuminated with full-color photography and detailed illustrations, helping to showcase the innovators individual curiosities, imaginations, and talents. This material shows how they bridge disciplines, respect cultural norms, respond to human needs regardless of costs, and how they adopt team transparency in their passion to create and solve problems with a clear mission. This highly anticipated book showcases honorees located across many different countries, including Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States.

Significantly, a quarter ofthese innovators are women, representing the elevated leadership of women inarchitecture and design.


Chicago (CNN)The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial opened in the Windy City this weekend, claiming the distinction of the largest exhibition of contemporary architecture in North America.120 participating architectural firms from more than 30 countries will present 93 exhibits until 3 January, aiming to show how architecture can “radically transform our lived experience.”


occurring at the inaugural chicago architecture biennial, architecture, design and urbanism practice NLÉ, led by kunlé adeyemi has created ‘rock & the bean’- an installation sited right at the heart of the city’s renowned millennium park. working with the school of the art institute of chicaco (SAIC), the installation is connected to SAIC and NLÉ’s co-creation of the chicago lakefront kiosk ‘ROCK’.


Preview of the First Chicago Architecture Biennial Cutting-edge architecture built by a robot, spiders and even you! That’s just a small part of what you can experience when the Chicago Architecture Biennial opens Saturday at the Chicago Cultural Center and sites around the city. Geoffrey Baer has spent the last two days watching 75 top… Continue reading CHICAGO TONIGHT – OCTOBER 2015


DOWNTOWN — The mayor touted the opening Thursday of the Chicago Architecture Biennial as “the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Blvd., which will serve as focal point of the exposition, technically running from Saturday through Jan. 3.

Michelle T. Boone, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, called it a “global exposition of contemporary architecture.” It showcases the work of more than 100 architects from more than 30 countries.

SAIC’s Architectural Moment – 2015

SAIC has teamed up with Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, who joined the school as a visiting faculty member in summer 2015. Adeyemi is a leading researcher of the growth of urban communities in developing countries and owner of urban design firm NLÉ in Amsterdam. He will lecture as part of SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program on October 5.

FUTURE LAGOS | Part 2: Resilient Cities; are we ready to live on water?

In Africa, Lagos is not the only coastal city that is vulnerable to rising seas, there are at least 20 cities, including Cairo, Egypt; Cape Town, South Africa; and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. With man’s constant struggle to live with water, Nlé, a collaborative architectural practice with a focus on developing cities, is changing the discourse through The African Water Cities project. The project is a research and documentation project that focuses on adapting coastal cities to the impact of urbanisation, resource shortages and climate change. To date the project has moved away from just research and documentation to also architectural forms. These have been realised in the award winning Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria and more recently the Chicoco Radio in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk, USA.


From Frank O. Gehry’s shining Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris to Zaha Hadid’s curving Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, take a global tour through the architectural practice emerging today, and defining tomorrow. The best-selling series of Architecture Now! celebrates its tenth edition with more than 70 international projects arranged in a neat new format.


From the 4,600-year-old pyramid of Zoser to the under-construction one kilometre-high Kingdom Tower – via the first London semi, Beijing’s old stock exchange and LA’s stacked freeway interchange – these 50 structures tell unique stories of our urban history


So your city is about to double in size, and it’s happening whether you like it or not. Infrastructure will be strained, sanitation is a concern and children need educating.

What do you do?

For Lagos, this is the question on many experts’ lips; a headache already 17.9 million people large and due to increase twofold by 2050 according to some predictions.


The chicago architecture biennial reveals four lakefront kiosk designs.


In the grand sweep of Chicago’s lakefront, a little kiosk may not seem like much.
But Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the organizers of the upcoming Chicago Architecture Biennial can cite a telling counterexample: the Lincoln Park Chess Pavilion, where chess players match wits on boards beneath a winglike concrete overhang. The 1957 pavilion, which sits east of Lake Shore Drive near North Avenue, is at once a sculptural object, an orienting device and a lively people place.

Architecture Now – July 2015

The 2015 NZIA conference in:situ in February brought together a stellar line-up of international architects and academics who shared their projects and experiences of working in the architectural profession in different parts of the world. Born in Nigeria but working from Amsterdam, Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works has landed himself in the media spotlight with his design for a floating school in an impoverished area of Lagos, which inspires alternatives to the invasive culture of land reclamation. He spoke with Justine Harvey of Architecture New Zealand during the conference.

Louisiana Exhibition – 2015

This summer’s major exhibition at Louisiana focuses on architecture, art and culture on the African continent. By pinpointing a number of judiciously selected examples from a cultural here and now, the exhibition sheds light on the diversity and complexity of the part of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Through a number of projects spread… Continue reading Louisiana Exhibition – 2015


As part of our special focus on innovation in Africa, we have developed a list of 40 remarkable African innovators. Actually, it’s more like 47 but we counted teams as one. Our decision to celebrate these idea creators and solution providers stems from our belief that the true wealth of Africa is not buried under its soil, but in the brains of its best minds. This list is a testament to that belief. It comprises Africans from every part of the continent, across diverse fields. We have brought them together because of the impact and potential of their ideas and processes in transforming the continent.

The Guardian – June 2015

When Jessica Collins and photographer Iwan Baan visited Lagos in 2013 to document a radical new school, the Makoko slum was facing demolition. Now the building’s global recognition is helping to give the community fresh hope.


About 15,000 people live permanently afloat on canals, rivers and coasts in Great Britain alone, but thousands more enjoy holidaying on boats or own them as weekend retreats in the UK and abroad. This book will feature not only static residential boats and floating dwellings but also those used as holiday homes and funky modern businesses – houseboats can range from canal boats, riverboats, narrow and wide beam boats, barges, Dutch barges, static houseboats and even seaworthy cruisers moored in marina. The book will cover stylish boats from the UK, North America, Europe and Australia. The houseboats engage the reader through their history and owners’ stories, which are told in lively text and colourful images. People fall in love with boats and own them for a variety of reasons: out of affordability and necessity; a love of the water; closeness to nature and the environment; or just because they yearn for a different and more relaxed style of living/working space. This book shows how houseboats can offer an attractive, practical and alternative solution, as well as amazing and often idiosyncratic solutions to living successfully in a small space. My cool houseboat covers the following themes: stylish architectural, from San Francisco to Prague; thrifty and eclectic, as an affordable solution to conventional city dwelling; businesses, using houseboats as unusual workspaces, from a book barge to an allotment; modernist, from a Finnish floating office to an Amsterdam watervilla; recycled, ranging from an Ellis Island ferry houseboat to a converted minesweeper; and soulful, covering alternative ways of life, relaxation and recreation, from a New York City houseboat to a stylish Paris home.


A 60-strong list of international studios has named the official participants of the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial – the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America.” Chosen by Biennial Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda – who are supported by an advisory council comprising David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Palumbo, and Stanley Tigerman – each participating practice will convene in Chicago to discuss “The State of the Art of Architecture” and showcase their work from October 3 to January 3, 2016.


PIN–UP is a biannual English language architecture and design magazine based in New York. It was founded in 2006 by architect and writer Felix Burrichter.

Financial Times – March 2015

The temptation to talk about an African architecture is great, but it is, of course, ridiculous. There is no such thing and never was.
Africa’s architecture is infinitely, thrillingly diverse and its variety embraces everything from the modernist ambition of postcolonial visionaries to the invention of the ad hoc informal settlements around some of the world’s most dynamic and fast-growing cities.

Forbes – April 2015

The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial announced the list of participants and artists that who will participate in the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America” this fall from October 3 to January 3, 2016.

Vitra: Making Africa Exhibition | MARCH 2015

From March 2015, a major exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum sheds new light on contemporary African design. Showcasing the work of over 120 artists and designers, »Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design« illustrates how design accompanies and fuels economic and political changes on the continent. Africa is presented as a hub of experimentation generating new approaches and solutions of worldwide relevance – and as a driving force for a new discussion of the potential of design in the twenty-first century.

Times of India – March 2015

PANAJI: The concept of floating buildings is not a novel one. But what if a 420 sq m structure of 3 floors could be built on water with locally available material and the manpower of only eight individuals?

This new and innovative form of an urban structure was materialised by Nigerian architect, designer and ‘urbanist’, Kunle Adeyemi.

Saturday afternoon saw some massive intellectual stimulation as Adeyemi shared his ground-breaking project on floating structures in his discourse on ‘Great city, terrible place’, at the latest edition of the Z-Axis annual conference being held at the Kala Academy, Panaji. Adeyemi developed the Makoko floating school as a prototype for construction in the coastal region of Makoko, a place which has regular floods due to unpredictable water levels.

Architizer – March 2015

‘Why the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s Kiosks Will Be CHI-IL As Heck.’ With the its local scene gaining momentum, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is threatening to steal some of the Venice Biennale’s thunder. (Please don’t give me concrete shoes!) One of the most exciting things in Chicago — and part of what is fueling the momentum of the Biennial — is the schools there. They have a complex history, as the skyscraper was born in Chicago, and Mies and Tigerman famously had a productive back-and-forth for many years at IIT and UIC respectively. Today, Chicago’s schools are thriving under strong leadership that has attracted some of the top design talent in the United States and the world.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015

‘Chicago Architecture Biennial partners with three Chicago-Based architecture schools and three international architecture firms to design additional kiosks as part of initiative to enhance lakefront’ We are happy to announce that NLÉ will be a part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial and in collaboration with School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the Lakefront… Continue reading Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015

Archdaily – February 2015

As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development. If East Asia… Continue reading Archdaily – February 2015

Archdaily – February 2015

International design firm NLÉ has recently shared its competition-winning design for the financial headquarters of the microfinance bank Credit Direct Limited. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, in the Ikeja district, the bank’s design abandons the forbidding presence of most financial institutions for one that is open and welcoming. This decision not only invites clientele inside, but creates opportunities for adaptation to the tropical weather of Lagos.

Rising Africa Series. Rising Nigeria – January 2015

Rising Nigeria 2015 is an Investment Guide Report published by Global Group Media giving background and information on the opportunities available to global readers and investors in Africa, starting with Nigeria. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and an important investment destination. Due to its oil… Continue reading Rising Africa Series. Rising Nigeria – January 2015

Designboom – January 2015

The Chicoco Radio Station designed by Lagos and Amsterdam-based studio NLÉ will empower the nearly 480,000 people living on the waterfront of Port Harcourt in Nigeria with a community media platform. Considered a ‘bridge to transformation’ the steel structure is at one end raised off the ground supported by the towering radio antenna, while at the other end floating on the water’s surface as an aquatic jetty and stage. The linear projection is created with large trusses connected by an expansive floor plate. At the water’s edge, a large movie screen faces both the people sitting on the inclined floor as well as the boats around the exterior.

CNN Ones to Watch – January 2015

By the year 2100 there will be 11 billion people on our planet. Architect David Adjaye introduces us to two up-and-coming names building for the future.

The Architects Newspaper – January 2015

Just inside the entrance to the MoMA exhibition, Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, a video shows men yanking wooden frames out of brick walls and hammering materials into place, providing a glimpse into the ‘tool-houses’ of Mumbai’s urban settlements that mix live-work functions. A passing viewer commented to his companion while shaking his head, “Look at that, they have to build everything by hand. Can you imagine how much work that takes?” This visceral response—a mixture of marvel and estrangement—encapsulates the conundrum of an exhibit showcasing tactical urbanism scenarios in six global cities. Who exactly does the work of tactical urbanism? And what can the architect or designer accomplish in these constantly shifting urban milieus?

Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction – December 2014

The fourth cycle of the International Holcim Awards broke a number of records: there were more submissions – over 6,100 projects were entered in the competition. Also, there were more winners – the five regional juries selected 62 regional prize winners. Chicoco Radio was one of them with which NLÉ won an Acknowledgement Prize. More… Continue reading Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction – December 2014

Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. Selected Projects by ‘A’A’ L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui – 2014

Continue reading

Archdaily – December 2014

AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ

Abitare Con L’acqua – 2014

Makoko Floating School featured in an Italian book “Abitare con l’acqua” about strategies and solutions for sustainable projects.

Wired – November 2014

The statistics are staggering: Researchers predict that by 2025, the world will have 37 megacities, defined as urban areas with more than 10 million people. New York City and Newark are expected to have more than 23 million inhabitants; Tokyo, more than 38 million people. All told, well over half of the world’s population will be living in these super settlements.

Der Spiegel – November 2014

Megacities like Rio or Mumbai grow fast – usually at the expense of the poor while the rich benefit . But there is another way . The cities of the future might look different.

Gizmodo – November 2014

People are moving into cities at an astounding rate — so fast, not even the cities themselves will be able to keep up. A new show at the Museum of Modern Art opens this week to examine how that explosive growth will affect six cities globally: Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City.

52 Weeks. 52 Cities by Iwan Baan – 2013

Iwan Baan takes the viewer on a one-year photographic journey around the world — always on the lookout for ingenious homes in unexpected places and outstanding construction projects. A characteristic of his pictorial language is his engagement with the close relationship between humans and architecture, between social use and various spatial situations. Iwan Baan visited… Continue reading 52 Weeks. 52 Cities by Iwan Baan – 2013

City of Brilliance – 2014

Makoko Floating School included in the Taiwanese book “City of Brilliance”, pp. 108-113.

Commons – 2014

“Commons” is a reissue of the legendary “Lotus Document”, published in 1986 and devoted to the work of Álvaro Siza. The publication remains a classic of the literature on Siza’s work, and of reflection on contemporary architecture. Makoko Floating School is included in a chapter named “A School as a City”. “Whether they are in… Continue reading Commons – 2014

Architectures Pour L’avenir – 2014

A chapter called “Ouvrir” where Makoko Floating School is featured can be found in the French publication “Architectures Pour L’avenir”. The word “ouvrir” literally means “to open the door” and the floating school is referred to as a prototype structure that introduces new possibilities for education. “This project is a prototype of a floating movable… Continue reading Architectures Pour L’avenir – 2014

Klasse Schule – 2014

Makoko Floating School is included in a German publication about contemporary schools all over the world. More information in German can be found on pages 52-55.

Transformation. Towards a Sustainable Future – 2013

“Transformation. Towards a Sustainable Future” is a publication exploring many dimensions of sustainable development and the power of architecture to address the challenges of sustainability. Makoko Floating School is included in the chapter about structures built on water. It is referred to as a sustainable structure, because of materials, technology used and environmental impact; it… Continue reading Transformation. Towards a Sustainable Future – 2013

Afritecture. Building Social Change – 2013

Makoko Floating School included in a book about contemporary architecture in Africa – “Afritecture. Building Social Change”, edited by the architectural historian Andres Lepik. “The school is a prototype for the far more ambitious concept of a “Lagos Water Communities Project”, which envisions an entire settlement of floating houses The three-level wooden construction with its… Continue reading Afritecture. Building Social Change – 2013

Kulturaustausch – March 2014

Our floating school featured in Kulturaustausch – a German journal for international perspectives, p. 70-71.

Travelling Exhibitions by Vitra Design Museum – 2013

NLÉ and the floating school were featured in the Travelling Exhibitions Catalogue by Vitra Design Museum as a part of the chapter called “Making Africa. A Continent of Contemporary Design”.

Profil – March 2014

Makoko Floating School featured in the Austrial weekly news magazine published in German, p. 62.

OmVärlden – September-October 2014

Makoko Floating School featured in OmVärlden – a Swedish magazine about development and global issues, pp. 10-11.

A+U – May 2014

Makoko Floating School was featured in A+U magazine from Japan, which tackles a diverse range of themes, movements and discussions in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

The Africa Report – May 2014

“You cannot take fish out of water” was Kunlé Adeyemi’s answer to the question whether it would not be better to move Makoko village to dry land. Makoko Floating School is referred to as a prototype structure for architectural solutions in synergy with people’s lives. The whole interview can be read in The Africa Report… Continue reading The Africa Report – May 2014

Deco – May 2014

Makoko Floating School was featured in the Taiwanese magazine Deco, p. 46.

Zeppelin – April 2014

An article on Makoko Floating School in Zeppelin – a Romanian magazine about cities, society and technology. “Makoko Floating School is a prototype structure that addresses physical and social needs in view of the growing challenges of climate change in an urbanizing African context.”

Bilim Cocuk – March 2014

NLÉ with Makoko Floating School was mentioned in a Turkish magazine for kids, p. 7!

Icon – January 2014

Makoko Floating School was featured in ICON, one of the world’s leading architecture and design magazines from the UK, as one of the most socially responsible designs of the year!

aface – January 2014

Makoko Floating School was featured in the Afritecture section of the German magazine Aface together with other recent school projects in Africa, p. 22.

Ingenjören – 2014

Makoko Floating School was featured in the Swedish magazine Ingenjören, a publication for the national Swedish Engineers Association, p. 20.

Mark – October-November 2013

An article “On the Waterfront” was published in Mark, an architectural magazine from Amsterdam. An extensive article includes an interview with Kunlé Adeyemi and Iwan Baan’s photography, pp. 134-141. “What’s important is that Makoko as a community now has a global audience.”

Architektur – September 2013

Makoko Floating School was featured in the German magazine Architektur, p. 27.

Arqa – May-June 2013

Makoko Floating School featured in Arqa – Portuguese Contemporary Architecture and Art Magazine, pp. 100-105.

Metropolis – October 2014

When the Makoko Floating School was completed in March 2013, it received wildly enthusiastic critical acclaim from the international news media. The simple A-frame structure, buoyed by recycled plastic barrels in a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, was designed by NLÉ, a Lagos- and Amsterdam-based studio founded by the architect Kunlé Adeyemi.


The twelve winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East focus mainly on enhancing social and environmental resilience, as well as the economy of construction.

New York Times – September 2014

… The idea that urban planning could build upon citizen action, rather than consisting of imposed boulevards or housing blocks (as with the urban renewal that originally gutted Roxbury) is gaining traction. The Museum of Modern Art, which has exhibited its fair share of top-down architectural proposals, amplifies that conversation with “Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities” opening Nov. 22.

Archdaily – September 2014

The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to Nigeria, where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.

The Guardian – August 2014

In the waterside slums of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 480,000 residents face the threat of displacement as the government seeks to redevelop their land, claiming urban renewal is necessary for economic development. But Kunlé Adeyemi has an alternative solution. He envisages a city of floating homes that would allow residents to remain within their community, and safe from rising tides, while at the same time improving the quality of their lives.

NLÉ at TEDxEuston Salon 2014 – JULY 2014

“Ripple Effect: Education and the next generation” is the theme of TEDxEuston Salon 2014. We have put together another set of amazing speakers that will challenge you in different ways!

Award Ceremony of 14th International Award Ceremony Venice – June 2014

The Jury of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia composed of Francesco Bandarin (President, Italy), Kunlé Adeyemi (Nigeria), Bregtje van der Haak (The Netherlands), Hou Hanru (China), and Mitra Khoubrou (United Arab Emirates) has decided to confer the awards as follows:

CNN Africa’s most exciting architects – May 2014

CNN) — Africa is a land under construction. Last year, over $220 billion was spent on all kinds of building projects in the continent. While foreign architects have clamored to make their mark in the region, a range of local talent has also stepped forward to shape their landscape (and in some cases, export their aesthetic abroad).

Designs of the Year 2014 – February 2014

The Design Museum in London has announced 76 nominations for Designs of the Year 2014, including a floating school in a Nigerian lagoon.

Japan Architect – World Yearbook 2013

We are delighted to share with you ‘The Japan Architect’ Magazine’s World Yearbook 2013 feature on NLÉ’s Makoko Floating School.

BBC Culture – February 2014

Buoyed by recycled barrels, a structure in a fishing village next to Lagos, Nigeria has just been nominated for a Design of the Year Award. Makoko is a slum on the waterfront of Lagos, Nigeria; tens of thousands of people live in the fishing village on stilts. With support from the UN Development Fund, Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed a school that floats on 256 recycled plastic barrels.

AZA2013 – NOVEMBER 2013

For the next two days, NLÉ founder Kunlé Adeyemi will be exploring the 2014 World Design Capital Theme: Live Design, Transform Life, as part of the South African Institute of Architect’s AZA2013 international workshop in Cape Town.

NLÉ Shortlisted to design July 22 Memorial Sites, Norway – October 2013

Eight international candidates have been selected for the second phase of the international competition to design two national public art memorial sites to commemorate the 2011 terror attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya.

X Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo – October 2013

On October 15th 2013, X Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo opened at SESC Pompéia featuring NLÉ’s African Water Cities Project. The exhibition is open until December 1st.

MoMA – Expanding Megacities – October 2013

NLÉ is one of six interdisciplinary teams involved in MoMA’s Uneven Growth initiative, which will examine new architectural possibilities for six global metropolises: Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York and Rio De Janeiro.


A couple of years ago, extreme floods in the commercial and residential areas of Lagos motivated architect and urbanist Kunlé Adeyemi to check out the city’s largest waterfront slum – Makoko – to see how its residents designed and managed their lives in the huge sprawl of communities scattered along the lagoon shoreline.


Makoko, a Nigerian shantytown on the marshy waterfront of Lagos, is not exactly Venice, but there are marked similarities between the two. Both are built on wooden piles driven into saline mud and tidal ooze. The streets of both are famously full of water. Both were settled by fishing communities, Venice – officially – in AD 421, Makoko at some time in the 18th century. Their populations are of a similar size – 60,000 in Venice, around 80,000 in Makoko – although no one knows for certain.