Studio Seilern designs new community in Nigeria's capital
Studio Seilern Architects were commissioned to design a 35 hectare waterfront masterplan in Abuja, Nigeria. Situated on Jabi Lake the project aims to create a new destination for the city.
An important concept was the creation of a waterfront promenade that connects the elements of the site to each other and also to the rest of the lake, ensuring that this is a flexible and open development, not a closed one.
Rather than committing to a cluster of larger buildings, the architects chose to break the building units into clusters of two, three or four components. A loose arrangement of these building clusters creates the possibility of a flexible plan that generates multiple aspect residential units. It allows for a flexible approach to the phased growth of the site, where committing to the size of the building can easily be adapted over time.
The flexibility that the residential tower can offer allows for potential high rise buildings to be positioned alongside the street and cascading low rise buildings towards the lakefront creating variable skylines. In plan, a series of units measuring 15m x 15m of two units each are arranged at varying angles to each other, forming differently shaped gaps and interstitial spaces. The number of tower components in each cluster can also vary, generating buildings of various sizes and density.
Each residential unit can be considered as prime as they will all have a triple aspect and exterior space providing a sense of being larger than they actually are. Due to the lack of existing market info, the scheme also needed to be flexible in its use and each building should be adaptable to become a mixed-used live / work configuration. The 15x15m block ensure that both residential and office configuration could be adapted.
The richness and variety of the clusters resembles a feeling of the northern Nigerian village. The loose clustering of a very simple rectangular extrusion creates a multitude of massing iterations: the variety of arrangement possibilities of repeating block means that no two buildings are the same.