Lagos is in dire need of green spaces, user friedly green spaces, not the bush you see when travelling through Epe by Road. I mean spaces within the urban ecosystem that can be used for play and relaxation and can offer amenity to the area in which they are found. Due to Eko’s ‘built-up’ nature this would be difficult to pull off in inner cities embedded in concrete and tar. Only a strategic and gradual transformation, involving buildings and good architecture can bring this about. To this end, I introduce to you the Maybury Towers. Designed by S333 Architecture, this Banana Island development, is proposed as a 15 storey luxury water front property, with 42 apartments and 4 double volume penthouses each boasting breathtaking views, large open living areas and private outdoor terraces. But its prestigious location, high end design and luxury appeal are not what makes it different. This, just may be the first tower in Nigeria that takes a full-on sustainable approach, beyond the generic name tagging. The architects (S333) have been working with Engineers and Landscape architects,BattleMcCarthy, UCL and the University of Greenwich to research various sustainable solutions including,..(wait for it) Biotechnology and City Farming Systems. They’re basically looking at the possibility of using plants to not just decorate and beautify, but to filter air, shade facades, produce food and (wait for it, again…) generate power. They are exploring very unusual options such as “Algae bioreactors“, “Bio breathing walls” and “aquaponic lunch walls” (does, your head hurt yet?) all of which geared towards reducing energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions and growing produce within the development, a vertical Urban Farm if you will. Other ‘basic’, but crucial features such as rain water harvesting, passive ventilation systems and Natural Daylighting have been deemed as ‘must-haves’ to score the vital goal of making the Maybury towers truly “Green and Sustainable”.
The challenge, with these ideas and concepts, as you might imagine, stem from balance. Striking a balance between environmental impact, social benefit and financial returns as well as social acceptance, which may be the hardest nut to crack. Lets face it, the crop of people that can afford to live on Banana Island, may not be keen to live in or next to an “Urban Farm” regardless of its benefits. They may look upon it with disdain and generally dismiss its premise, after all they can afford hundreds of Millions to pay for whatever they desire including food and airconditioning, so sustainability and its perks, may seem unattractive if it doesn’t involve Marble floors and Gold Plated doors. But then again, I could very well be wrong.
Still in its planning and design phases, its unclear how many of these features would make the final cut, and survive approval, but, it would be a great triumph if they all could. I look forward to seeing what final completion would look like in 2016. Sources Black Border Build Dream spaces Development