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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Affordable Housing for Nigerian Metropolitan areas

As I begin to assemble my thoughts to produce my thesis project, I have made a,list of some of the issues that as an architect, I wish all my designs to address:

1. The projects must be sustainable. They should be able to harness natural energies to power and operate themselves. The materials should be biodegradable and the building should have no negative impact upon the land or on the people into whose midst the design is placed

2. The designs should have an aesthetic contribution to its contextual surroundings

3. The design should be affordable and accessible to all who need it to be

4. The design should be innovative in its execution.

I have thought and thought and thought about the issue of affordability. Most architects will tell you that before you can do projects for the "poor", you have to have catered to the rich because it is their endorsements that help generate the revenue to be able to develop the projects.

I am thinking however, that in a place like Lagos for instance where the poor live in substandard housing at extortionist rates, why don't I develop that results in an upgrade in their living conditions yet is still afordable?

People use trailers all the time. They are long and narrow and can be reconfigurated to fulfill all the needs a living space is required to provide. Maybe that could be the basis of my design. I will do some sketches on this and see what I can come up with.

I will turn to Shigeru Ban for some inspiration
Or Klein Dytham.
Or Jun Aoki
Let me get on this and see...

9 comments:

AN IBO DUDE'S CORNER said...

Please keep up the good work. As a real estate practitioner(ex,anyway.not practising at the moment) i have always had that passion. i have always wanted to do same thing to and provide affordable and durable housing for people. abeg lets rub minds abi head together on this

CONSCIOUSNESS said...

'yes Miss Catwalq!...

...respec' sista on coming through with some well thought-out creative design issues...there seems to be no end to your skills…!!…the issues you raised seem to seek a balance between all the niceties mentioned and affordability...and the trailers certainly seem to tick all those boxes...conceptually, your idea seems to be one the Naij social housing development bureaucrats should lap up...you should look into that...tippin' my hat to an ethical Norman Foster in the making...keep up the creativity + good luck with the thesis...!!

...bless up yourself!!

Peeaaaccceeee!!

C!!

**I confess to a daily pilgrimage to your blog to re-read the “memoirs of the V-spot post“…can‘t get enuff**

Queen of My Castle said...

What a great idea. Funnily enough I was just chatting with my mother about this same topic. I pray your dreams become a reality.

rethots said...

Hope we'll get to see your sketches?

afromusing said...

Keep doing your thing girl! This is a wonderful idea...Are you on facebook? Check out Architecture for Humanity if you arent already a member.
Cheers,
Juliana.
http://afromusing.com/blog

DAVID said...

Omg, omg! I'm doing an assignment (was due yesterday btw) on affordable housing, urban regeneration through gentrification. What do you think about gentrification? Good thing or band aid solution?

O yeah, when I hand in my paper in some hours, I'll be back to read this article and just hand around your blog for a bit! =)

DAVID said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DAVID said...

Okay, I was too tempted and so I read it. I think Abuja does the trailer housing thing already. Regardless I'm not very sure it's a good idea.

Example, for the sake of financial sustainability, is that feasible? I think mobile houses are transitional homes. They don't last so I don't think they are a good investment on a large scale.
Secondly, when they get rundown do we have facilities to recycle/reuse or even to still use them as a resource and not just dump them as more of the excess garbage that we got?
Thirdly, home ownership might be something worth encouraging in Nigeria. If people end up 'affording' these homes, can they resell at a good price or the value just plummets after a while?
These are just my thoughts, not knocking your idea. I actually like it.

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

An Ibo dude: let us rub minds o...but we have to have money first. Abi, what do you think?

C:I do have to say that I am trying to avoid the bureaucracy of the Nigerian way of doing things. But I am looking into it.

Q.O.M.C: Thanks. I hope so too

Juliana: Thanks. I am going to get on that

Rethots: have to scan them. But I put up pictures of an old project

Dav!d: I think gentrification as a means to oust a certain ethnicity or income earning group is bullshit. I however am in favour in an allocation of spaces where the rich and up-and coming can co-exist in socio-economic harmony.

About mobile homes, I am not thinking of simply converting a trailer into a home. There is something about using four walls to create a dynamic space. It's all about efficiency. Why build a monstrosity and waste space? You need private (sleep, shower/ bathroom) and public (kitchen/ living area). You can get that out of a row house.