Lagos: City of Water Architecture Competition, Nigeria, 2020

Lagos: City of Water Architecture Competition, Nigeria, 2020
  • Type: open international single-stage ideas competition.
  • Registration fee: €5 (Early), €12 (Normal), €20 (Late).
  • Registration deadline: 10 August 2020.
  • Submission deadline: 25 August 2020.
  • Winners announcement: 5 September 2020.
  • Awards: €2000/ ₦700,000.
  • Organizer: The Arc. Eddy Eguavoen Foundation.
  • Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Official website/webpage: voenassociates.com/foundationcompetition.
  • Contacts: [email protected], [email protected].

Theme and background

In August 2019, CNN published an article listing the top cities that are prone to excessive flooding due to the coming rise in sea levels. Lagos was one of them. One solution, which was mentioned by Andrew Yang during the American Democratic debate in 2019, is to move to higher land. In the case of Lagos, this would be the mainland in areas such as Ikeja, which is already densely populated.
Rather than move away from the water, why not embrace it and continue to develop the city with the water? This is what led to the theme of the first Eddy Eguavoen Foundation Architecture Competition. Lagos: City on Water.
Over the years, there have been projects, plans and visions of a future of civilization that is based on water. Some may argue that there is no need for such, but news recently broke about the country Kiribati (a country made up of small islands in the central pacific ocean) soon being the first country to completely end up under water as a result of rising sea levels. The government of Kiribati has been accessing its options, and one option that has been explored in previous design competitions is building floating buildings and cities on water.
For the design competition, you are asked to use your creativity to design a building, structure or masterplan that helps envision a future for Lagos on water. Your project should make significant use of water space, whether floating, submerged and/or built over water. You can focus on one architectural topic such as affordable housing, sustainable cities or others to act as a starting point for your project. We encourage projects of different scales as we want a large variety of ideas and concepts realised. Whether your submission is a single building that can be expanded using a modular method or your submission is a whole self-sustaining city, your project has the opportunity to win. The scale of your project is not a factor that contributes to winning the competition. Instead, the level of detail, development and innovation of your submission will contribute to your project winning. Your project can remain at concept level, but still present a detailed and developed solution to a problem.
The competition is also relatively open in terms of context. Your project can be based on any part of Lagos, Nigeria whether Mainland Lagos, Lagos Island, Snake Island or Lekki.
View of 3rd Mainland Bridge and Makoko in Mainland Lagos, Nigeria
View of 3rd Mainland Bridge and Makoko in Mainland Lagos, Nigeria
The Arc. Eddy Eguavoen Foundation (est. January 11th 2020) is a Non-government Organisation that pushes for innovation in Nigerian Architecture through an annual design competition, setting up of design workshops and building for communities-in-need. The organization is named after the late Edwin Ehi Eguavoen, an accomplished Nigerian Architect that ran his Architecture firm, Voen Associates for over 30 years. Voen Associates is still active and the implementation of this organisation is a way of honoring his legacy while pushing for progress in Nigerian Architecture.
At the moment, the foundation aims to focus on poverty-stricken communities within Lagos.
There is currently a project being planned that is meant to be of benefit to these communities. We are planning on announcing the project towards the end of 2021 with construction starting in 2022. There will be an ongoing relationship with these communities starting from the construction of this project. This relationship will continue to strengthen as communities develop.


  • 1st Place Winner – International Contestant - €700
  • 1st Place Winner – Nigerian Contestant - €700/₦175,000
  • 2nd Place - €400/₦140,000
  • 3rd Place - €200/₦70,000
  • Honorable Mentions - 10 Contestants
  • Finalists – 20 Contestants
  • Founder's Choice
All winners will be included in a competition publication and a Virtual Exhibition. 


  • Concept.The premise of your project should be inspiring and present something new for the city of Lagos. There should be coherence between your original concept/ idea and your final output.
  • Creativity. We encourage you to make use of your artistic expression and show your creativity.
  • Presentation. Your graphical communication should be engaging and clear. Simplicity and conciseness is preferred. Sometimes a simple illustration can be more engaging than a realistic visualization. We encourage you to showcase your own personal presentation style.
  • Sustainability. We want our leaders to see the potential benefits of sustainable building and the earlier we do that the better.


  • Odaro Eguavoen, Founder of Arc. Eddy Eguavoen Foundation; Architectural Designer (Voen Associates)
  • Iwoje Eguavoen, Director (Voen Associates); Artist
  • Arc. Ladi Olatunde, Principal Partner of Third Dimensions (Architecture Firm); CEO of Fourth Estates Ltd; Former member of Voen Associates
  • Arc, Usman Mohammed, Lead Architect (Voen Associates)
  • Arc. Adesoye Oni, Senior Architect (Design Group Ltd)
  • Debo Adesanya, Architect & Project Manager (Design Group Ltd)
  • Ose Wangboje, Art & Design Enthusiast; Telecommunications
  • Tomiwa Adegbola, Art & Design Enthusiast; Business & Finance


  • June 5th – Official Announcement of Competition
  • June 10th – Early Registration Begins - €5/₦1,750
  • June 24th – Normal Registration Period Begins - €12/₦4,200
  • July 20th – Late Registration Period Begins, Submissions Open - €20/₦7,000
  • August 10th – Registration Closes
  • August 25th – Submission Closes
  • September 5th – Winners Announced, Virtual Exhibition Begins
  • September 20th – Virtual Exhibition Ends

Registration & Submission

The competition is open to students, recent graduates and young architects around the world.
The competition allows groups (3 people max.) to submit projects and all group member names must be included when filling the registration form.
Registration opens on June 10th and there will be two registration pages, one for International contestants and one for contestants from Nigerian Schools.
The submission link will be sent to all registered participants. The link will also be available on the competition website on July 20th.



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