HMC Architects’ “Lagos, Nigeria: A concept for Africa’s first zero-carbon city” won a Design Award of Merit from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA). The project, whose reliance on renewable energy sources would reduce carbon emissions, was honored at the SARA Design Awards Gala on October 21 in San Diego.

A plan for a zero-carbon community in the world’s seventh-fastest-growing city could solve more than one vexing problem. HMC created a speculative design for a mixed-use project on the Lekki peninsula near Lagos, Nigeria. This relatively sparsely populated area in a region of more than 21 million people is being readied to accommodate millions more in the coming years. Climate shock undermines biodiversity, paving the way for novel viruses to spread. The idea was to develop a city that could address climate change, public health, and water resilience at the same time.

The concept was featured in a March 28, 2021, article in The New York Times titled “16 Global Design Concepts for an Unpredictable Future.” HMC was also recognized for the concept with a Fast Company 2021 Innovation by Design Award in the Cities/Best Urban Design category.

SARA is a vibrant professional organization of architects and industry partners focused on fellowship, friendship, and mentorship guided by the mantra “Architect Helping Architect.” The SARAs, an annual National Design Awards Program, celebrates design excellence and attracts entries from across the country and around the world from individuals, firms, and architecture students.

To learn more, visit the SARA website.