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Kunlé Adeyemi

Architect, NLÉ

Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, planner and development strategist whose works are internationally recognized for innovation and originality. He is the founder and principal of NLÉ – an architecture, design and urbanism practice founded in 2010, for innovating cities and communities. He is also an Adjunct Visiting Professor at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and Chair of the African Water Cities Center instituted at the University. Adeyemi’s notable works include ‘Makoko Floating System (MFSTM)’ – a groundbreaking, prefabricated, building solution for developments on water – deployed in 5 countries across 3 continents, with the latest iteration Mansa Floating Hub in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde. This acclaimed project is part of NLÉ’s extensive body of work and new ventures – Water Cities Group and the African Water Cities Centre – focused on the intersections of rapid urbanisation and climate change.

In 2016 NLÉ was awarded the Silver Lion Prize at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia for Makoko Floating School. Other NLÉ projects include A Prelude to The Shed in New York, USA, the Black Rhino Academy in Karatu, Tanzania and the Serpentine Summer House at the Royal Kensington Gardens in London, UK. Before founding NLÉ, Adeyemi worked closely with Rem Koolhaas for about 9 years at the world renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where he led the design and development of significant projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange tower in China, the Qatar National Library and Qatar Foundation Headquarters in Doha, Samsung Museum of Art and the Prada Transformer in Seoul.

Alongside his professional practice with multiple prestigious awards, Adeyemi is an international speaker and thought leader. He served as juror and nominator for distinguishing many industry talents including the RIBA international Prize, the AIA awards, Venice Biennale jury, and the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program. Adeyemi holds an honorary doctorate degree in Architecture from Hasselt University, Belgium, and a certificate in Real Estate Economics and Finance from the London School of Economics (LSE). He has held several academic positions including 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York, a Visiting Critic at Cornell University and a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University – where he leads academic research in architecture and urban solutions that are closer to societal, environmental and economic needs.