The city of Lagos, located on a group of Islands, separated by creeks in Western Africa is the most populous in Nigeria, forming a major financial center. The city dates its roots back to the 15th century with the ruling of Yoruba tribes, where they practiced their traditional architecture. However, with the invasion of Portuguese and British, the buildings were incorporated in the colonial style of architecture with some vernacular elements. The Slave Abolition Act in 1807 was marked as an important historical event that brought in a new wave of an architectural style called the Brazilian Baroque Architecture, which was the result of the former Yoruba group, who were technically skilled masons, returning to their country. The post-colonial period was marked with the construction of skyscrapers in a modern and contemporary style. The economic boom of the 1960s and the 1970s has caused rapid urbanization, and today the skyline of the Lagos city is dominated by an eclectic mix of various styles of architecture. Here are 10 places architects must visit in Lagos
1. National Arts Theatre
Constructed to promote the Culture and Arts of Nigeria, the building plays a significant role as a Cultural Symbol that hosts various national and international activities. The 31m tall structure which encompasses an area of 23,000 sq. m is built in a contemporary style of asymmetrical composition, featuring an exterior form shaped like a military hat.
2. The Civic Centre
The mixed-use building facing a lagoon hosts reception area, event centers and office spaces. The building was designed in an inverted structure form to accommodate larger areas at the floors above in a small plot of land. The steel truss above the building was created to hold the roof of the top floor to achieve maximum usage of space by avoiding columns. The building sets an example of how a form, dictated purely based on functional aspects, stands as an iconic structure.
3. Heritage Place
The 14-storey building located in the city’s prime location, is the first LEED-certified green building in Lagos. The structure accommodates an office space of 15,736 sq. m with 350 parking bays located on five floors. The design features a double-height reception and incorporates both suspended ceiling and raised floor to enhance the flexibility of the space for the tenants. The façade with double glazing and wall insulation contributes to its eco-friendly nature. Overall, the building is made sustainable by reducing energy consumption by 30 to 40%
4. Cathedral Church of Christ
Year: 1869 (with current structure completed in 1946)
The oldest Anglican Cathedral in Nigeria was built when Christianity was introduced to Africa during the British Colonial Period. The church is known to have a first African Bishop from former Yoruba ethnic group and has adapted Ecclesiastical Architecture with Gothic influence.
5. Jaekel House
The two-story mansion, a former residence of a Railway General Manager, is a museum with collections of photographs from the 1940s to 1970s, depicting various historical events. The building is an example of Classic Colonial Architecture with deep verandahs and overhanging eaves, built with timber and pre-fabricated material.