Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, is the most populous city in Africa. With 16 million inhabitants and an index of one of the fastest growing cities in the world, there is an enormous pool of talent in this West African city. Recently CBS did a feature on the growing tech industry and whether Lagos is gearing up as the next Silicon Valley. That is not the only creative endeavor of the city. Especially with the population explosion, architecture, construction, and building design is reimagined and revisited.
Young architects see it as a huge potential to work on projects in Nigeria’s biggest city. They get an enormous chance to bring their talent to the table and work on more than an architectural project. The implication of the population growth brings social, cultural, and economic issues with it that need to be addressed. Certainly, solutions will be found coming from different angles and perspectives. Architecture might be one of them. World Architecture Festival 2017 finalist Hermann Kamte, CEO and founder of HKA – Hermann Kamte & Associates, from Cameroon who was named Young Talent of Contemporary and African Architecture, is one of these pioneers who take on the challenge. His vision of a wooden tower skyscraper in Ikoyi, a downtown neighborhood on Lagos Island, is one of the proposed solutions. The wooden structure that is to be built on top of an existing four-story structure in the luxury, upper-middle-class area, has the purpose to improve living conditions. Apart from being among the 11 winners of the inaugural WAFX Prize with this wooden tower concept, the proposed sustainable construction with wood that envelopes the building beneath and adds on to a height of 87 meters uses the benefits of natural elements such as ventilation and lighting. The greenery surrounding each floor has a microclimate effect and acts as a lung in the urban space. The wooden envelope of the building serves as sunscreen and at the same time corresponds to a special Yoruba tribal symbol. It fits seamlessly into the neighborhood. Many other architects have worked and continue to work in Lagos. Among them Kunlé Adeyemi who proposed a prototype school on the water’s edge that is for a less affluent clientele than Hermann’s and much needed.