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While Surfing is virtually non-existent as a sport in Nigeria, this project isn’t too far off in terms of a relatable context for alternative housing in Nigeria. Permit me to introduce the Lanterns Sea Village. Conceived by Maurizio Barberio and Micaela Colella, of Barberio Colella ARC (the architects behind UNBOXED), this proposal features “light tetrahedral solids that hover over the sea, suspended in one point.” Their intention was to minimise the impact on the beautiful landscape of Tarifa while providing temporary housing for surfers who inhabit the beaches and waters of the small Andalusian town.
The design of each unit features a rigid, modular tetrahedral structure of bamboo, with recycled wood floors and sunshading provided by recycled old surfboards, a befitting touch. Pile foundations boring deep into the beach sand keep these ‘inverse pyramids’ upright thus, giving the illusion of them floating. These also help to keep the building footprint to the barest minimum with little to no environmental impact.
Access to the units is via a walkway that sits 4m above sea level where a spiral staircase takes one up to the living quarters comprising a basic kitchen, bathroom and bedroom all covering about 30 sqm.
The units are also designed to be largely off the grid, with alternative energy sources that can exploit the sea below or the sun above, either by installing miniturbines at the base of the unit foundations or solar panels on the large expanse of roof. Ofcourse yet another option would be the cool and plentiful sea breeze that would be perfect for a mini-windmill.
The modular nature of the units allow it to sprawl, preferably out to the sea or inland thus creating a viable and sustainable community for the surfers in the region. An added advantage of the proposed construction methodology is that fact that it can easily be disassembled and recycled without leaving a trace on its host landscape.
This design, while intended for surfers in Spain, resonates largely with me, for the fact that firstly, I’m a housing enthusiast, and secondly, this would be a perfect for coastal communities in Nigeria, reminiscent of Kunle Adeyemi’s Makoko floating school. An affordable, modular, scalable prototype thats able to mitigate flooding and still provide a socially viable housing model for small and large communities. Bravo Barberio Colella ARC!