»Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.«

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Blog Agenda

Rebel Architecture 5

Kunlé Adeyemi in Nigeria

  • Architect Kunlé Adeyemi is determined to find solutions to flooding and overcrowding in Nigeria's waterside slums. (All video stills: Al Jazeera) 1 / 13  Architect Kunlé Adeyemi is determined to find solutions to flooding and overcrowding in Nigeria's waterside slums. (All video stills: Al Jazeera)
  • On the outskirts of Nigeria's most populous city of Lagos, 85‚000 people live in the waterside slum of Makoko. 2 / 13  On the outskirts of Nigeria's most populous city of Lagos, 85‚000 people live in the waterside slum of Makoko.
  • With a rapidly growing population, services are stretched, including school provision. 3 / 13  With a rapidly growing population, services are stretched, including school provision.
  • Kunlé Adeyemi’s design for a low-cost floating school for children in Makoko is designed as an imaginative solution to the lack of school places. 4 / 13  Kunlé Adeyemi’s design for a low-cost floating school for children in Makoko is designed as an imaginative solution to the lack of school places.
  • However, with its close proximity to Lagos and development potential, Makoko is attracting lots of attention, and has already seen the displacement of many of its inhabitants... 5 / 13  However, with its close proximity to Lagos and development potential, Makoko is attracting lots of attention, and has already seen the displacement of many of its inhabitants...
  • ...with fairly uncompromising methods used. 6 / 13  ...with fairly uncompromising methods used.
  • With homes demolished... 7 / 13  With homes demolished...
  • ...people are left homeless and distraught. 8 / 13  ...people are left homeless and distraught.
  • However in another area, the residents of Chiccoco have resisted the demolition of their homes. 9 / 13  However in another area, the residents of Chiccoco have resisted the demolition of their homes.
  • The question remains as to what the regional government’s intentions are. 10 / 13  The question remains as to what the regional government’s intentions are.
  • Does it favour improving the living conditions of the people living in the slums... 11 / 13  Does it favour improving the living conditions of the people living in the slums...
  • ...or seeing the slums as investment and real estate opportunities... 12 / 13  ...or seeing the slums as investment and real estate opportunities...
  • ...for waterside development? 13 / 13  ...for waterside development?

We’re very pleased at uncube to be featuring all six episodes of Al Jazeera English’s fine new documentary series Rebel Architecture. Spanning the globe from Spain to Vietnam, Nigeria to Pakistan, and Rio de Janeiro to the Israeli-Palestinian border, each half-hour episode follows an architect pushing the boundaries of the profession, working at the edges of legality and on ways to directly improve living conditions and effect change.  This week we see episode five: Reality Bites (directed by Riaan Hendicks), which follows Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi’s attempts to improve the living conditions in Nigeria’s waterside slums with his designs for floating buildings (see his floating school in Makoko in uncube issue No. 17: Construct Africa).

Having spent years on high profile construction projects for museums and international corporations, Nigerian Architect Kunlé Adeyemi, came to realise that architecture needs to be about “people before icons”.

In this episode, we follow him as he encounters difficulties in obtaining planning approval for his floating building prototypes – engineered as solutions to the flooding and overcrowding in the slums of Nigeria’s coastal cities – from local authorities interested only in the construction of multi-billion dollar projects aimed at bringing in investors’ money.

Al Jazeera airs a new episode each Monday at 23.30 (CET) from 18 August - 22 September 2014. For details please visit Rebel Architecture or subscribe to the uncube newsletter, as we will feature each week’s episode here. Watch the entire Episode 5: Reality Bites, directed by Riaan Hendricks, below:

– Leigh Theodore Vlassis

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