The Sprachbibliothek in Lagos by A.C.I.D blends Nigerian and German Culture and Design

Project Design
ACID + New Map
Project Lead
Stephen Ajadi
Safurat Balogun, Mfonobong Mkpang, Folakemi Agbetunsin, Aderonke Oluwatayo, Taiwo Adefolatomiwa, Ife Osunkoya, Dumebi Asem
Wall Art
Yusuf Aina
Furniture Design
Cecli Richards Ltd, Dezignloft Ltd, Netcom Africa ltd
Fabric Design
Ire Design & Opshe Couture

The Sprachbibliotek or “Language Library” project transforms a very small space of 39 sqm into a purpose-flexible library to study the German language right in the heart of Lagos.

Led by Stephen Ajadi, the design for the library was handled by the African Contemporary Institute of Design (A.C.I.D). The library serves as part of a tutorial system organised by the German Government’s Goethe Institute to teach people the German language at various levels. Being situated in Lagos, the library not only teaches language, but also creates a synergy and exchange of culture knowledge between Lagosians (and at wide—Nigerians) and Germans. This educative synergy is deployed in the signature furniture, the spatiality, the materiality and the art.

The library is designed for certain flexibility scenarios that create opportunities for the space to be reimagined as a classroom or a tech hub. The flexibility is worked into the entire space, from the shifting cubes of the shelves, to the re-deployable side benches. The benches also feature cushions upholstered using colourful adire fabric. Wall murals inspired by traditional festivals, public space and cultures from both countries adorn the white walls within the space and offer a visual contrast to both the plain nature of the walls and the minimalist geometry of the furniture. The murals were hand-drawn by the fast-rising artist, Yusuf Aina, who worked with the ACID team to develop a suite of custom markings.

The whole project is designed based on the circular economy with each material grouping having sustainable after-life material pathways. In summary; the project creates a space that acts as a working confluence of the many collective cultural attributes of Lagos, and Germany, including the ethos of the library management and their multi-cultural approach to pedagogy.

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