Maryland Mall Vs Ikeja Mall, Lagos

I sometimes wonder about the emotional impact architecture has on people. Lately, I carefully observed Maryland and Ikeja mall. I sought to know if buildings were people, and what personality they would have. How they would look.

It amazes me how architecture triggers emotions in one. For example, you see a building and you are either excited, disappointed, angry or sometimes indifferent and this is how I felt about two buildings I came across – Ikeja mall and Maryland mall. I will like to say that this article’s content is my personal opinion.

These buildings are located in Lagos, Nigeria. I have given them two different names to express my impression of them.

Ikeja Shopping Mall or the Frank Lloyd Wright Shopping Mall

Maryland mall vs Ikeja mall | Ikeja mall looking like Frank Lloyd Wright falling water house
To your left is a view of the Ikeja mall from its car park. While to your right is a view of Frank Llyod Wright’s project: the falling water house.

I am sure you can already see the similarities between the Ikeja shopping mall to your left and the falling water house.  Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 designed the falling waters.

When I first saw this Mall building I was excited maybe because Shoprite was coming closer to me.

It appeared mature, quietly bold yet relaxed. Though the more it tried to stand out the more it blended into its surrounding.

Its massing might have been done by a conservative but experienced architect. It greatly enhanced the look of Its location.

If the building was a person maybe it will be a somewhat stylish, middle age, fair-complexioned man. Hahaha…

Maryland Shopping Mall or The BIG BLACK BOX

Maryland mall vs Ikeja mall | Maryland mall looking masculine and bold.
To your left is the Maryland mall. While to your right is my impression of what the building depicts – strength and masculinity.

When I first saw this Mall, I was initially confused. The first thought that crossed my mind was “what in heaven is this?”.

Could this truly be a big black box? I felt the opportunity to jazz up Maryland was lost. Of course, I knew it was a mall but its look was different.

I thought it should have the Lagos stereotypical mall look. The architect knew better. Well, it dared to be different in an unusual way.

My only major concern on first seeing the building was that its look was too bland. Its form was too simple which was further magnified by its size.

I say this because the neighbourhood where this building is located has mostly regular-looking buildings. Thus, this was an opportunity to add colour to the neighbourhood.

By the way, I have not been inside the building, it’s just my perception from the outside. The next time I saw it, it had transformed into a big black giant signboard. Though looking more sophisticated, but confusing.

The building has a subtle class to it, it’s different I must say, and it is not easy to be different.

If this building was a man I will say it will be a sophisticated, quiet, black-complexioned giant man.

The most remembered buildings are the ones that evoke feelings in you. Thus, the Maryland mall and Ikeja mall are buildings I will not forget in a hurry.

2 thoughts on “Maryland Mall Vs Ikeja Mall, Lagos”

  1. Thank you for your compliments Theophilus, I am glad we share same sentiments. I look for to entering the building and experiencing it differently. I trust Tosin did a good job with the design. Cheers.

  2. You, Sir, have quite an interesting mind! I must admit I share your sentiments on Maryland Mall. I couldn't help but feel quite confused about the "BIG BLACK BOX" in the sky at Maryland, prior to the installation of the LED screens. Afterwards, it all sort of made sense. Finally, reading an interview the Architect (Toyin Oshinowo) granted during/after(?) the commissioning, it all made perfect sense. By the way it has this huge skylight that allows massive amounts of light in during the day, and it has this rather surprising airy feeling despite NOT having an externally facing window anywhere in sight.

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