BusinessDay

Architecture, uncommon masterplan earn Alaro City regional lead, recognition

For its architecture and uncommon masterplan, Alaro City, an upcoming city sitting on expansive land area in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) in Lagos has earned the recognition of an internationally acclaimed rating body with the Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award.

The Architizer A+Awards, already in its seventh year, is an internationally acclaimed programme focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture, and according to the organizers, the popular choice winners were selected through public online voting after a 10-day campaign. More than 400,000 votes from over 100 countries were submitted.

They explained further that the city’s masterplan, the only entrant from the African region, was shortlisted and eventually nominated from a range of large-scale international complex projects that included the Amazon HQ2 supersite in Dallas and the 5M project in San Francisco.

Alaro City’s masterplan was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) LLP Europe. SOM is an influential collection of architects, designers, engineers and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings, and significant public spaces.

From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. This, largely, informed the choice of Alaro City for the Architizer A+Awards.

“Alaro City masterplan is designed in a way that protects and enhances the unique conditions of the site while enabling long-term resilience for the future city,” explained Daniel Ringelstein, a director at SOM City Design Practice, adding that the city helps strengthen Lagos’ position as the economic and cultural hub for West Africa by creating a new mixed-use model sustainable community – a place for people to work, make, live, and learn.

The director noted that plan was structured around six greenways, aligned north-to-south with the prevailing winds and existing topography, and spaced 800 meters apart to ensure that all residents and workers are no more than a five-minute walk from open space

The city is planned in such a way that transport infrastructure supports local connectivity and allows for higher density, walkable mixed-use districts and neighbourhoods. Larger industrial and logistical development plots are located in the south, while neighbourhoods for residential, mixed-use, and commercial development are located to the north, oriented towards the lagoon.

“We were honoured to be nominated alongside complex projects such as the Amazon HQ2 supersite in Dallas and the 5M project in San Francisco,” said Odunayo Ojo, CEO of Alaro City, in his reaction to the award.

To him, “the award is a testament to the fact that we are building a city that Nigeria will be proud of, in such a vibrant and unparalleled metropolis like Lagos.”

Alaro City is planned as a 2,000-hectare mixed-use city that was launched in January 2019. It will include industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares of parks and open spaces. The project is a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and Rendeavour, the largest new city developer in Africa.

Recently, the city, which is a mixed-income, city-scale development with master-planned areas, announced the start of phase two of its residential ‘buy and build’ plots, after selling all phase one plots.

 

TEMITAYO AYETOTO

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