Designed and conceptualised by Cameroonian Architecture Firm, Hermann Kamte & Associates (HKA), Lagos’ Wooden Tower - a proposed addition to Nigeria’s capital and one of Africa’s most populated cities -has just won an American Architecture Prize, as well as the inaugural World Architecture Festival award's inaugural WAFX prize.
The WAFX Prize is awarded to future projects that identify key challenges that architects will need to address over the next ten years and is part of the World Architectural Festival’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
A unique wooden structure that is designed to be a smart and sustainable building, the experimental residential building represents an alternative to the massive concrete buildings that dominate the city.
Built on the roof of Abebe Court, a housing estate in Ikory, the Wooden Tower is composed of mixed residential spaces surrounded by a belt of lush greenery, and is oriented to maximise daylight and natural ventilation. Featuring sky gardens and other amenities to separate the old and the new, the rooftop garden will provide panoramic views of the city and function as an informal gathering space and restaurant.
Designed as part of an international competition in 2016, Hermann Kamte explained some of the project’s aims in an interview with DesignBuild-Network. “Our first goal was to build a new approach to urbanisation and population growth. Our second goal was to incorporate Lagos’s extraordinary cultural diversity. Our final goal was to introduce the concept of wood construction into a landscape dominated by concrete buildings. Nigeria benefits from the tropical rainforest in the central to the southern part of the country. So why continue to confine our city to concrete?”
Though wood is not the only material used, HKA considers their choice of Laminated Veneer Lumber efficient and appropriate for the region. Important for its structural properties, aesthetic, and cultural impact, the building’s designers also consider wood a sensible, warm and soothing material, as well as a powerfully emotional symbol for the city of Lagos.
Enveloped by a wooden veneer that incorporates traditional patterns from the Yoruba culture, it provides protection from direct sun while giving the project a unique appearance. Already the recipient of an A' Design and Rethinking The Future Award, Lagos’ Wooden Tower would be a serviceable, economical and sustainable addition to the Nigerian city.