AJEG Dockside Village

Re-Defining the Human Experience: Within the Concrete Jungle of Ajegunle, Lagos, Nigeria

By: Lilian Atunzu, Designer

Design Institute of San Diego strives to provide meaningful blog entries that address not only local design solutions but global strategies as well. This is a guest entry written by Lilian Atunzu, who has created an innovative solution to the ongoing shortage of low-income housing in Nigeria. – DISD

According to the National Census of Nigeria, Lagos State had a population of 17.5 million in 2006. With a growth rate of 3.2%, that number is now estimated at over 21 million. Due to this rapid population increase, there is a shortage of low-income housing within the urban community of Lagos. This issue has affected the health, safety, and welfare of the poor.

Creating one solution for the lack of affordable housing in Lagos is impossible. The whole world is looking to the government of Nigeria to see how they will address such a pressing issue in what is projected to be the third largest mega-city in the world. Over 42% of the nation are children and will be the leaders tomorrow. An infrastructural issue such as housing is a major concern and there is a sense of urgency to solve this problem now.

Metamorphose 1.5* Rendering (main activity node)

Metamorphose 1.5* Rendering (main activity node)

Metamorphose 1.5 is one proposal that will create an opportunity for low-income Nigerians to pull themselves out of poverty by helping to build their own live-work community. This project will use natural and local resources to promote a national identity of “home” and raise awareness of individual responsibility. Traditional vernacular architecture with a touch of modern times will restore a sense of pride and culture. The overall goal is to create better living environments within the urban chaos of Ajeromi-ifelodun, an urban area in Lagos State with a population of over 1.4 million.

Metamorphose 1.5* Rendering (second level corridor)

Metamorphose 1.5* Rendering (second level corridor)

Vertical residential communities within Metamorphose 1.5 will introduce a grid system that will potentially allow for better roads and improved access from neighboring communities. This will in turn stimulate economic growth among its residents by allowing commuters access to a new market community. Furthermore, Metamorphose 1.5 literally raises the level of living to new heights by addressing the issue of flooding and potential sea level rise.

Metamorphose 1.5 back view

Metamorphose 1.5 is a new model for sustainability that will allow residents to construct their own housing quarters, facilitating the idea of unity and community living for the future, and preventing de-globalization, gentrification, and urban sprawl. The end result will enhance the quality of life by improving the key issues regarding health (sanitation), safety (local crime), density (overly populated), and climate. Ultimately the building vocabulary will create a sense of pride for the people of Nigeria, becoming a prototype for sustainability and efficiency.


Drawings and renderings created by Lilian Atunzu

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