Naija Vernacular: The ‘Yaba’ Variable Density Residential prototype by NLE Works

I’ve always pondered what an indigenous Nigerian architectural language would look like if one was developed, similar to the Scandinavian or Cambodian or Japanese styles that have notable elements which easily identify them.

This project from NLE affectionately called ‘YABA’ is probably the closest thing to what I think our contemporary vernacular architecture would resemble. Here’s their description,

‘Yaba’ is an NLÉ building prototype for regenerating dilapidated and under-utilised single-plot parcels of land scattered in growing city centers such as Yaba, Palmgrove and Surulere of Lagos, Nigeria.

With the growing need for housing in rapidly urbanising cities, the pressure to densify the city centres is increasing. Yaba building prototype is an efficiently planned, economical, self-sufficient, variable-density housing block, aimed to quickly unlock capital and get value from hidden assets. Each block contains a modular mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The design is such that the 1 bedroom unit can be easily connected to the 2 bedroom to create a 3 bedroom apartment. This gives developers the flexibility to respond to the growing and variable market of the low to middle income population. Furthermore, the building block can be adapted for offices, recreational, institutional and other uses.

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