Kunlé Adeyemi's concept for a floating response to urbanization and climate is being featured this summer in the ponds at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam thanks to a new installation that includes the work of two local studios and select items from the museum’s National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.
The newly-installed MFS IIR - Water City Rotterdam is the NLÉ founder's first-ever exhibition of the concept to showcase in the Netherlands. It features a 23-foot main pavilion surrounded by smaller offshoots and artwork by Shertise Solano.
The Nigerian-born, Netherlands-based, Princeton alumnus and former OMA staffer's name has garnered recognition throughout the industry since developing the Makako Floating School concept for his hometown of Lagos and later displayed as part of his Silver Lion-winning contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale.
Marred by a setback following the collapse of his floating school for the Makokol slum area of Lagos the same year, Adeyemi's continued efforts surrounding the development of the concept have gone on to become nominated for several awards while he himself has served on the juries of several others, including the 2016 RIBA International Prize. Listen to Adeyemi on an episode of the Archinect Sessions podcast from 2016.
A segment designed by landscape architect and artist Thijs de Zeeuw is also included in the exhibition in order to highlight the pavilion’s unseen ‘fifth facade’ while adding to the biodiversity of the site.
Inside the museum’s main hall, a parallel gallery featuring historical examples of floating architecture from around the world completes the exhibition. Highlighted work by Enrico and Luzia Hartsuyker-Curjel’s early-60s study for a speculative coastal city at Wassenaar and Hans Lüning’s drawings for post-War infrastructure improvements in Indonesia are on display.
Select projects from Studio Makkink & Bey and students from the Urban Archipelago master's program at Delft University of Technology will also be shown in the gallery in a forward-looking final exploration into the possibilities for the future development of water architecture.
According to the museum, "Together, these artists and designers explore the possibilities of living and designing on and with water, from the past to the present, while always looking to the future."
Water Cities Rotterdam opened on May 13th and will remain on display until the 22nd of October. Click here to learn more.
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