International design practice NLÉ has unveiled its designs for the MFS IV, a prefabricated Floating Music Hub for the port city of Mindelo in Cape Verde. Developed as the fourth prototype of the firm’s Makoko Floating System, the project is the first in the series to be built in the Atlantic Ocean. The prefabricated floating hub, which is currently under construction, will consist of a cluster of three buildings of varying sizes that will house a large multipurpose performance hall, a professional recording studio and a small service bar. 

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
three pyramid-shaped timber structures floating on the ocean

Created for ADS (Africa Development Solutions) Cabo Verde, the Floating Music Hub builds on NLÉ’s objective to shape architecture in developing cities and communities. NLÉ first debuted its Makoko Floating System in 2012 with the Makoko Floating School in Lagos; the project collapsed after being adversely affected by heavy rains in 2016. The design firm crafted a second iteration of the school, called MFS II, at the Venice Architectural Biennale 2016. Then, in 2018, NLÉ installed a third iteration, the MFS III, with an improved design in Bruges, Belgium.

Related: Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdu’s Jincheng Lake

timber framework under construction for three pyramidal buildings
three floating timber frameworks

NLÉ’s design revisions have led it to bring the Makoko Floating System back to Africa, this time in the beautiful Mindelo Bay in Cape Verde’s São Vicente. “It is designed and engineered to even higher performance specifications and quality for marine environments,” noted the architects, who have teamed up with an array of local and international partners, including the likes of JMP, CFA, SINA and AECOM, among others. 

three pyramidal structures made from timber with sun setting in background
aerial view of three timber structures floating on the ocean

Like its predecessors, the MFS IV Floating Music Hub will be prefabricated out of timber for rapid assembly, mobility and flexibility. The floating community landmark will comprise a trio of triangular buildings — a multipurpose performance hall, a professional recording studio and a service bar — clustered around a triangular floating public plaza designed to promote music, dance, art and other creative industries.


Images via NLÉ