We are delighted to announce that NLÉ founder Kunlé Adeyemi has been selected as a Finalist for this year’s World Technology Award for DESIGN, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.


Rapid urbanisation and climate change are two key challenges facing the modern metropolis. The community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, is overly familiar with both issues. Makoko is an aquatic community of some 100 000 people who live on housing units built on stilts in the water. There’s no land, no roads and no formal infrastructure… an informal Venice of Africa, if you will.


Makoko Floating School featured at the London Festival of Architecture 2013.

Atlas of the Unbuilt World, the British Council’s international exhibition for the London Festival of Architecture 2013, has opened at the Bartlett School of Architecture in central London. 60 architectural models gathered from across the world will be on display for visitors to investigate and compare. The exhibition is free and will be open until 27 June.


In Makoko, a sprawling slum on the waterfront of Lagos, Nigeria, tens of thousands of people live in rickety wood houses teetering above the fetid lagoon. It’s an old fishing village on stilts, increasingly battered by floods from heavy rains and rising seas. Because the settlement was becoming dangerous, the government forcibly cleared part of it last year. Kunle Adeyemi, a Nigerian architect, had a better idea….


The floating school of Makoko The Floating Public School by NLÉ architects, photographed by Iwan Baan, creates a new symbolic focus and identity for the Makoko fishing community (Lagos, Nigeria), where families live on stilt-houses in the lagoon of an ever-growing megalopolis. An architectural construction in local wood made using “techniques” developed by the community, and floated… Continue reading ABITARE – MAY 2013

International Advisory Council for World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town – May 2014

World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 (WDC 2014) is pleased to announce the appointment of an International Advisory Council (IAC) to support the Cape Town initiative. Through the call for nominations, there are three nominees representing local and African design while Icsid (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) nominated two individuals from the international… Continue reading International Advisory Council for World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town – May 2014

ArchiAfrika – April 2013

The Afrofuture exposition (at the Milan Design Week) convened exports from the continent to consider the impact on African cities of some of the key questions from various disciplines including architecture, politics and technology…. One topic that provoked animated discussion was new designs coming from the continent. This followed the presentation by Kunlé Adeyemi, a young Nigerian architect practicing in Amsterdam and Lagos. He gave an illustrated talk on a school project he created for an aquatic village called Makoko in Lagos. Adeyemi belongs to a new and stimulating generation of African architects whose works are shaping the unfolding narrative of contemporary African architecture….

The Boston Globe – MARCH 2013

Over the last couple months winter storms have lashed the Massachusetts coastline, leading to flooding in Boston and other low-lying towns. As the Globe reported, the storm surges have prompted Boston officials to recast the city’s plans for dealing with rising sea levels. In that process, they might do well to look at similar planning… Continue reading The Boston Globe – MARCH 2013

CNN ‘Inside Africa’ – MARCH 2013

Architect Kunle Adeyemi explains the logistics of building houses in the village of Makoko, Nigeria – Errol Barnett, CNN Inside Africa

SkyNews – March 2013

A three-storey floating school will soon be used in Makoko, a poverty stricken community on the flooded coastline of Nigeria’s capital. The new primary school in the Lagos slum is built on a foundation of 256 plastic drums. Powered by solar panels on the roof, it will be able to accommodate more than 100 students.


Someday, whole floating cities could even migrate from one coastal area to another, giving urbanization mobility.

Architectural Record – March 2013

There are no roads or much infrastructure of any kind in the floating world of Makoko, a shantytown flowing out from Lagos, Nigeria’s waterfront. Teetering atop small piers, the maze of tenuous wooden structures is frequently inundated by floods. Like many coastal cities, Lagos’ burgeoning population is faced with the increasing threat of more frequent… Continue reading Architectural Record – March 2013


Unpredictable climate changes along the world’s most vulnerable coastal communities, have produced some fascinating design solutions that test the resiliency of architectural possibilities and the need for adaptation that will produce these changes. The coastal community of Makoko, a slum neighborhood, off the Lagos Lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, is receiving an upgrade to its current… Continue reading ARCHDAILY – MARCH 2013

Architizer – March 2013

The usual approach to building in a flood zone is to put everything on stilts, as many residents of Rockaway, Queens, are considering in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. That’s also been the approach in the slum settlement of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, where many residents live in illegal wood shanties propped up on stilts,… Continue reading Architizer – March 2013

The Guardian Nigeria – March 2013

MAKOKO, the coastal community in Lagos, hosted dignitaries and members of the international community last week, as a school, which was constructed on the Lagos Lagoon with an amazing input of Dutch marine architecture, was formally opened to the public.

This Day Live – March 2013

Makoko, a slum community that straddles Herbert Macaulay, Yaba, and the Lagos Lagoon, will get a much desired reprieve through a regeneration initiative supported by the UNDP. The transformation programme begins with a floating school but the building design could replace their homes, writes Bennett Oghifo

Environews Nigeria – March 2013

As a way of improving the quality of education in a sustainable way, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is constructing a group of floating schools in Makoko coastal community of Lagos.

Architecture Source – March 2013

NLÉ Architects are pioneering sustainable development and building a floating school in flood-prone Lagos. Led by Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, the new multilevel school will address the community’s issues of poor waste management and land scarcity.

Huffington Post – February 2013

In Lagos, Makoko Slum — where many houses are built on stilts over the polluted, dark waters of the waterfront and lagoon — is perceived as a development blight and hurdle to the city’s development. To counter this perception, and to adapt innovatively to challenging circumstances, an urban planning firm has designed a prototype school… Continue reading Huffington Post – February 2013

Sahara Reporters – March 2013

Showing welcome concern for the low standard of life of the inhabitants of Makoko coastal community of Lagos, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has started the construction of special “floating schools” for children.

World Stage News – March 2013

WorldStage Newsonline– A new initiative aimed at assisting the clustered Makoko community area of Lagos, South-West Nigeria to adapt to the effect of climate change has resulted in the construction of a floating school, courtesy of NLE- an architectural firm with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Africa Adaptation Programme and Heinrich Boll Stiftung.

World Architecture News – February 2013

Architecture has always had the ability to shape how we live our lives and our relationship with the surrounding environment. For the residents of Makoko, Lagos in Nigeria, the threat of flooding is a part of their daily existence, with the July 2012 floods in Nigeria killing 363 people and displacing over 2 million residents.

Designboom – March 2013

In a geographically changing world where water levels are steadily rising, many coastal and waterfront communities are finding themselves inundated with the problem of adaptive housing solutions that withstand swelling tides and swift currents. flood-proof schemes are floating around most commonly implementing various stilt systems to elevate the structure above predetermined water lines, but even… Continue reading Designboom – March 2013

NRC Handelsblad – February 2013

Gizmag – February 2013

Design and urbanism practice NLÉ, led by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, is building a new multilevel school in Makoko – a region of Nigeria’s most populous city, Lagos. While that doesn’t sound too unusual, the difference here is that in an effort to address the issues of land scarcity and poor waste management that affect the flood-prone area, this school is being built on floating platforms.

White Spaces – February 2013

Fast Company Co.EXIST – February 2013

Designed for a flood-prone area of Nigeria, this school would keep students in school even after the heaviest rains.

Daily Mail – September 2012

Their canoes drift on the water as piles of rubbish float outside their shacks.
Shabby shacks on stilts, floating waste and rickety boats fill the expanse of murky water.
But for the thousands of poor people forced to live in Nigeria’s infamous Makoko slum in Lagos, this is their home.

Inhabitat – February 2013

For the community of Makoko of Lagos, Nigeria life on the water is nothing new. Prone to flooding, residents have dealt with encroaching waters for generations by building houses on stilts and using canoes as their main source of transport. Now, with the threat of sea level rise from climate change, and developers who want to tear the community down, Makoko is in a state of uncertainty.

Guggenheim Symposium – May 2006

On Saturday, June 3, 2006 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Oldcastle Glass will co-host a one-day symposium at the museum entitled “Contamination: Impure Architecture” on opening day of the special exhibition Zaha Hadid, on view at the Guggenheim through October 25, 2006 – bringing together leading architectural theorists and practitioners to discuss the theoretical notion of contamination and architecture. The following roster of international architects and designers are participating: Kunlé Adeyemi, Elizabeth Diller, Zaha Hadid, Sanford Kwinter, Greg Lynn, Gabriele Mastrigli, Alex McDowell, Farshid Moussavi, Patrik Schumacher and Bernard Tschumi. Kunlé Adeyemi’s article ‘Urban Crawl’ was published in the Log Journal 10 of Summer/Fall 2007. – September 2012

Respite appears to be on the way for sacked residents of Makoko area of Yaba, as an architect, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi, Thursday said he had concluded plans to build a three-story school out of the 16 floating platforms lashed together to enhance the educational needs of the people of the area.

African Outlook – September 2012

In the waterfront slum of Makoko in Nigeria’s largest city where shacks stand above the murky, fetid water on stilts of cast-aside lumber, an architect thinks the neighborhood should float.

Ventures Africa – October 2012

Nigeria architect, designer and ‘urbanist’, Kunle Adeyemi of NLÉ in partnership with the Heinrich Boell Stiftung, has proposed plans to build a three-story school out of 16 floating platforms lashed together, capable of holding 100 students and teachers, in the waterfront slum of Makoko, area of Yaba, Lagos.

Bella Naija – October 2012

Nigerian Architect, Kunle Adeyemi Brings Hope to Makoko Slum with the Floating School Project

Chandigarh Program – September 2010

Kunlé Adeyemi is appointed as 2011 Callison Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of the University of Washington, teaching and researching ‘The Modern City in the Age of Globalization’ in Chandigarh – India’s first planned modernist city.

Ajanaku – November 2010

“The photography will aim to masterly orchestrate a new mental space in the lives of its people to correctly reveal the great qualities of the cities, to dispel dreadful myths from pleasant realities, to unravel the positive social and cultural operative mechanisms of the city to the people by its people and to other global observers.’

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Ground Breaking Ceremony – November 2007

Shenzhen, 22 November 2007 – Officials from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) and local government together with representatives from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have broken ground for the construction of the new headquarters for China’s equivalent of the NASDAQ. Founder and Partner of OMA, Rem Koolhaas, OMA’s Managing Partner Victor van der Chijs… Continue reading Shenzhen Stock Exchange Ground Breaking Ceremony – November 2007

Trouw – January 2011


Makoko Prototype Book – 2011

A proposal for a floating building in the water community of Makoko, located in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The project is an innovative approach to address social and physical needs in view of current challenges of climate change and an urbanising African context.

Zumtobel Group Award 2012 Jury – November 2012

The laudation for the winning entry Butaro Hospital by MASS DESIGN was given by Kunlé Adeyemi, founder of NLÉ Architects, Amsterdam and a member of the Zumtobel 2012 Award jury.

Magazine on Urbanism (MONU) – October 2012

Next to interviews with Saskia Sassen and with the Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi, and a series of contributions that discuss Next Urbanism in general, we feature eleven articles that focus specifically on the cities of each of the Next Eleven countries. – MONU Magazine

Architectural Design (AD) – September 2012

City Catalyst: Architecture in the Age of Extreme Urbanisation
Alexander Eisenschmidt
• Featured architects: Kunlé Adeyemi/NLE, Atelier Bow-Wow, Jürgen Mayer H, Normal Architecture Office (NAO), Adriaan Geuze/West 8, Ron Witte/WW, UrbanLab, Sean Lally/Weathers, and OMA.

Eirenicon Africa Debate – January 2013

Join us as we engage with a panel of experts constituting the most daring and innovative thinkers on African cities and societies, in a discussion on contemporary solutions to a new century’s challenges and opportunities.

The UK Guardian – November 2012

Lagos is Africa’s largest city. Next to the sea, it experiences regular flooding from tropical rains, and water is a way of life for many residents, particularly those in Makoko. People living in this fishing community have built their homes on the water and trade on it. But the area has just one primary school. Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi is hoping to build another – one that floats on the water and is powered by solar panels.