Do you want to know the name of that Nigerian house style you have always admired? This post is for you. This post explains with pictures the 5 most popular Nigerian house styles found in all major cities in the country.
I recently visited Lagos, Nigeria and came across a building that I believe is the most beautiful in the city. The building, called the Kingsway Tower, is located on Alfred Rewane Street in Ikoyi. As I approached the building from the Falomo Bridge, I was struck by its large curvilinear shading device suspended on its curtain walls, separated by layers of draping plants that reach the full height of the building. Admiring the building made me think about the role of architects and what separates a great architect from an average one. I realized that it’s not just about design, but also the architect’s ability to stay versatile and updated with building components, materials, techniques, and technology, as well as the ability to produce sufficient specifications and details to reduce ambiguity and promote clarity for the building contractor
I recently wrote a post about the dangers “quacks” pose to architecture, where I referred to architectural designers as quacks. However, upon receiving resistance to my assertions, I realized that perhaps my post did not give these individuals the recognition they deserve. I learned that an “architectural designer” may have the same education and training as an “architect,” but may not have taken or passed the registration exam, and therefore cannot provide the necessary “sealed” documents for building permits. These individuals may be just as knowledgeable and skilled as registered architects, but for various reasons, have not been able to become registered.
The Standard Form of Building Contract in Nigeria, prepared by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, spells out the duties and responsibilities of architects, contractors, and clients during construction and includes clauses that empower and penalize those who default on their responsibilities. It is commonly used as a reference document for architects in Nigeria and for a contract to be legally binding, a written agreement outlining the roles of consultants and the extent of their duties on site must be signed by the contractors and clients.
The article discusses that Nigeria has several locations for architects to move to due to fast-growing infrastructural development and economic activity. These cities have a variety of architectural projects available year-round and are funded by government and business activities. I will be exploring the two best cities in Nigeria that offer the most opportunities for architects to practice.
As an architect and observer of architectural trends, I have noticed an increase in popularity of modern architecture in Nigerian residential buildings. The style, characterized by prominent horizontal and/or vertical elements, flat roofs, and large windows, is becoming prevalent among young clients and architects due to its unique look. However, I am concerned about its suitability to the Nigerian climate and ease of maintenance. The flat roofs can cause interior spaces to heat up faster and are prone to leaks, while large windows retain heat within the building. I question if function should come before form in architectural design and the public’s perception of these buildings.
The article discusses the recent approval of a proposal to transform the architecture department in Nigerian universities into a full faculty of architecture. This announcement was made at the Architects’ Colloquium conference in 2018 by the Regulatory body for Architecture in Nigeria (ARCON). The move will allow for the proper development of an architecture teaching and research framework and encourage specialization. This is not a new concept globally as faculties of architecture already exist in other parts of the world, although the term “School of Architecture” is more commonly used.
I was visiting Lagos and came across the Civic Centre and Tower on Ozumba Mbadiwe street. The tower had a large, detailed crown, which made me think of it as the “king” of the buildings. The civic center, on the other hand, had a smaller, more intricately detailed crown, making it the “queen.” The tower’s crown appeared too small for its size, leaving me wondering if another “king” building was planned for the future.
I sometimes wonder about the emotional impact architecture has on people. Recently, I observed the Ikeja and Maryland malls in Lagos, Nigeria and wondered what personality they would have if they were people. The Ikeja mall reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house and I found it to be “mature, quietly bold yet relaxed.” On the other hand, I was disappointed by the design of the Maryland mall and described it as a “big black box” that did not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. I found that these buildings evoked strong emotions in me and I will not forget them easily.