Nigeria has far fewer living spaces than there are people who need them. Experts say the deficit could be 20 million housing units. And that number keeps rising by the day.
It’s this sort of alarming statistic that inspired Kanyinsade Ademosun, a Lagos based architect, to start up Seventh Space. But he didn’t set out to solve the problem by doing bricks and mortar, like every other builder in the country did. He decided to make houses out of old shipping containers.
Seven years after launching, Seventh Space continues on its quest to provide simple and comfortable living spaces for Nigerians who aren’t wealthy enough to afford the sky-high prices payable for quality housing in Lagos. This demographic typically consists of young people starting out on their own, or property owners who want a proper but temporary residence on their land while they work on getting a brick-and-mortar structure up.
While the idea of making homes out of shipping containers isn’t a new one- it’s gained traction elsewhere in the world –not many people know that it’s a real alternative to the pricey houses on offer in the more decent urban neighborhoods. Ademosun is working to fix this.
Launch Pads for the Dreamers and the Upwardly Mobile
Seventh Space currently builds studio size and one-bedroom apartments out of cubed 40 feet containers and sells them to property developers, real estate companies, and individual landowners who want to have a dwelling on their site. It calls these structures ‘pads’, and markets them as just the kind of space that first-time homeowners would want to start out with.
Anyone who wants to get a pad from Seventh Space may begin by contacting them via email. The team from Seventh Space will inspect the property on which the pad will be situated, to determine how it would fit in and what designs would suit it best. Pads are typically delivered in 3-6 months.
These abodes usually succeed at making the most of the space they afford their occupants. Thanks to the designers, they’re able to pack all the basic things you’d expect in a proper home: a kitchen, living room, bathroom, plus walls and floor tiles. Appliances, burglary proofs, glass partitioning, and solar power packages can also be added on.
Besides constructing and dispatching homes, Seventh Space also helps clients design aesthetically outstanding buildings. It’s all in line with its convention-defying brand identity.
Daring a Mammoth Problem
Ademosun is taking on a hard task. He has to lead Lagosians away from thinking that big is necessarily better (even if it’s for people at the beginners’ end of their careers) and that it’s okay to invest in housing for the less well off. But he’s determined to carry on with this mission.
Nigeria requires a million new houses to come on stream every year if it’s going to plug its housing supply gap by 2033. Reaching that target would require that we embrace out-of-the-box solutions. It’s why brands like Seventh Space exist.
Featured image source: Seventh Space
Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.