Lagos's Wooden Tower
Hermann Kamte & Associates - Nigeria
Drawings, plans, elevations
Talk about resilient cities is tainting about the future especially for the most populated cities in Africa. Lagos’s Wooden Tower, has been made in Lagos firstly to respond to a specific context and finally to initiate a new challenge into African Architecture Community. The aim of the project is to imagine: how the roofs of today can be transformed into the plots of tomorrow? Lagos is growing faster than urban policies, and it is almost impossible for government to content this quick evolution in terms of dwellings and facilities. The city is very extended and the question is when you live at its periphery is: how much money will you pay to get water? Dwelling? Energy? Bus? The big idea for us is to create a city above the existing to optimise usage of public services. Lagos as the most populate city in Africa represents a big deal. City consists of 16 million inhabitants. Situated in the heart of Ikory, Lagos’s tower is the unique wooden structure which is designed to be a smart and sustainable building. The old existing building is located on the highbrow Bourdillon Road with picturesque vegetation. It counts 4 blocks housing units. Each consists of 4 bedrooms and 3 bedroom apartments distributed on 4 floors. There are some amenities: Swimming Pools, Gymnasium, Tennis courts, etc. The whole is oriented to maximise daylight and natural ventilation. The wooden envelope provides shading from the heat of the direct sun around the shape. Plants belt around each floor contribute to creating fresh air flow and keep a constant microclimate into living space while providing a visual comfort and aesthetic. The project focuses on the open area. The apartments are designed around a central core. Building is divided in 4 parts. The existing structure and new are separated by sky gardens and amenities. The top roof consists of 360° restaurants and lush greenery. Sky gardens also contribute in social gathering between users. It gives a new natural footprint face to the historic Centre dominated by massive and heavy building built in ceramic, concrete and asphalt. The envelope high lights Yoruba culture with their massive presence in the heart of Lagos. Inspiration comes from the history of Edo, Yoruba and Hausa people. Lagos is the oldest site of Benin Empire and it is awesome to see that there is always a traditional hierarchy in this modern city. Obe yet symbolises the king of the man, the king of Lagos state. This tower is influenced by the contest ‘they don’t fuck it’, but it wants to be integrated into the city life. The entire structure is built by using resistance of LVL wood system. It is used as a load-bearing and a non-load bearing structure. Structural feasibility and sustainability are based on wood. LVL products allow crossing very far-reaching. Wood is the fingerprint of Nature into artificial buildings. Maybe will it connects us to nature? Its most powerful comes from the unicity of each piece of wood and it’s wonderful.