Modern Nigerian architecture has evolved from primitive forms through pre-modern cultural traditional design. Cultural interactions between Nigerians and other nations caused this evolution.
Pre-colonial Lagos architecture, for example, shows elements of Portuguese influence. This influence was introduced by Nigerian builders who returned from Brazil as former slaves, who had gathered mason skills there in South America.
In the Northern parts of Nigeria, building architecture is heavily influenced by Arabic and Islamic art, with minimal Hausa shapes engaged in many cases.
Currently, Architects in Nigeria try to be more creative in their design thinking. Within the various considerations like preference of the client, budget, weather, and others, the architects still try to come up with never-before-seen designs.
When the other factors favor the project, architects have put together some really appealing designs. But for this article, let us take a look at modern Nigerian architecture, portrayed in these 4 iconic buildings.
The National Theatre
The National Theatre, Surulere
Designed by a team of Bulgarian architects led by Stefan Kolchev, the National Theatre in Surulere, Lagos, was finished in 1976 ahead of the country’s Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC). It was designed to resemble traditional Yoruba drums and motifs and also drew some inspiration from a complex built by the same designers in Europe.
Designers planned the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria with influence from the traditional architectural philosophy of the native Hausa people. It has an array of courtyards and organic structures to reflect this philosophy.
Lekki Conservation Center
Lekki Conservation Center
The Lekki Conservation Center in Lagos both incorporates a mixture of traditional Nigerian art, and reflects the purpose of the facility, which is nature conservation. Consequently, there is generous use of wood in the structures and stronger concrete components.
The Dominican chapel
Interior Design of the Dominican Chapel
Award winning artiste-architect Demas Nwoko designed the chapel of the Dominican Institute in Ibadan in 1970. In the picture, Arc. Nwoko carved the 12 columns with African art shapes and forms. These designs and more blend distinctive African art with Christian concepts in the edifice.
On a whole, Nigerian architects have prioritized the combination of traditional designs with other elements of their imaginations. It only gets interesting to think of what more these artists have in mind.
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