Vernacular Shantyscrapers: Reimagining Lagos as a Vertical City


Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, a fast-growing metropolis that has already spilled over onto adjacent waters but needs to grow up as well as as out.

lagos reenvisioned

Artist and architect Olalekan Jeyifous works in Brooklyn but grew up in Lagos, a place where patchwork urbanism and ramshackle architecture evolve out of necessity, invention and available materials.

lagos futuristic

In this series of imaginative photo collages, Jeyifous combines original photographs and three-dimensional models, envisioning a vertical expression of the same approaches.

lagos new

In part, the imagery is a tribute to ground-up innovation and improvisation, which results in a vernacular often ignored by “serious” architects in favor of conventional design styles.

lagos shanty village

lagos futurology

“The project examines the ways in which the nature of impoverished spaces,” says Jeyifous, “which are not only highly self-organized but also deploy sustainability practices as a matter of necessity, can be applied to cities undergoing massive population growth.”

lagos shantyscrapers

lagos at night

Where some see horizontal slums currently (or vertical ones in this futuristic vision), others can find inspiration to create architecture that reflects all of the demographics and history of a given place.