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‘Yaba’ Housing Prototype.

‘Yaba’ is a new low-cost building prototype currently under development in Lagos, Nigeria. The main concept of this project looks at current Nigerian society and culture in an increasingly dense and urbanised city.

A low-cost prototype drawing from traditional practices in Lagos, Nigeria

Location
Lagos, Nigeria
Architect
NLÉ
Expertise
Structures

As opposed to people living in small isolated flats in large housing estates, it redesigns a common building typology in the city (mixed use and 3 storeys high) which is designed in a way that allows residents to face each other, and communicate with one another via the staircase, central courtyard and roof space. This creates small active communities in a busy metropolis to replicate the life and the culture that residents either left behind in their villages when they migrated to the city for work or never had because they grew up in the city.

The first thing we did was to investigate available local materials and construction methods in Lagos. We found that the common concrete blocks widely available there were 225 × 225 × 450 mm. The design process was turned back on itself and redesigned to fit a 225 mm block. The resulting building is a beam and slab construction designed to the module of a 225 mm module block. The structure was streamlined and made to work very hard with walls, slabs, beams and columns all at 225 mm.

This makes the construction of the prototype extremely easy for any contractor; there will be no issues of complex setting-out, various sized beams or unavailable materials. This method also allowed the architect to design with complete freedom within this fixed framework to play with the cladding and identity of each building and community. The project is currently being developed further where the building prototypes are being organised into a cluster – so the little communities make little villages within the city.

Awards.

Arding
&
Hobbs.
 
Grosvenor
Square.
 
 
Horizon
 
Building.
 
Canada
Water
Plot K1.
 
Cadogan
Place.
 
 
CASPAR
I.
 
 
Kivik
Pavilion.
 
 
One
Centaur
Street.
 
Nike
myThread
Pavilion
 
Museum
of the
History of
Science.
2-12
Symons
Street
 
Southwark
Gateway.
 
 
Brindleyplace
Café
 
 
Queen
Mary
Students'
Union.
30
Kensington
Church
Street
Brulington
Danes
Imaging
Centre
Bedford
Music
School
 
Royal
Holloway
Student
Residences.
Howe
Dell
Primary
School.
39-49
Wigmore
Street
 
1
Finsbury
Square
 
London
Bridge
Glass
Sculpture.
Hilton
London
Tower
Bridge.
Bishop Challoner
Catholic Collegiate
School.
 
Butterfield
Innovation
Centre.
 
Hanover
Street
Artwork.
 
Derby
Quad.
 
 
Queens
Apartments.
 
 
AA
Rainforest
Pavilion.
 
Qasr
Al
Muwaiji