Nigerian-born architect, designer and ‘urbanist’ Kunlé Adeyemi received world-wide attention with his ‘Makoko Floating School’, a prototype for an innovative, floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos.
The acclaimed project is part of an extensive research project – ‘African Water Cities’. Adeyemi’s agency NLÉ, located in Amsterdam, is currently developing a number of urban, research and architectural projects in Africa; one of which is Chicoco Radio Media Center; the amphibious building in Port Harcourt in Nigeria.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos where he began his early practice, before joining the world renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2002. Currently Adeyemi head his own firm NLÉ, a name that means ‘at home’ in Yoruba, the language of Africa’s first truly urbanized population.
Adeyemi is 2014 Baird Distinguished Visiting Critic of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, teaching and researching ‘Water & The City’. Before he lectured in Washington. His main area of academic interest is in developing cities of the global south. The overarching aim of his practice is to bridge critical gaps in infrastructure and urban development by creating coherent networks and global exchanges that work for people. The scope of the practice is not limited to architecture. Adeyemi has also designed furniture, among many other things, and explores all social and cultural possibilities that contribute to urbanism.