Architecture has evolved exponentially in our civilization’s existence, but now architectural languages with vernacular touches and modern tools together are used for recognition and identity. A deeper connection is established with architecture due to such nuances created with subtlety. 

Nigeria, a developing country, an integral part of this revamping of the architectural language is making an identity for itself and inspires others to indulge in similar practices. 

Here are 10 must see structures in Nigeria you must visit.

1. Makoko Floating School / NLÉ

Makoko Floating is a floating lightweight structure made for the community of Makoko residing in the lagoons of Lagos, Nigeria. As an initial project to create schools in this community, an innovative approach has been initiated according to the climate and urbanizing contextual data. 

The main objective was to create sustainable, ecological building technology for the changing African coastal areas. 

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NLÉ, Iwan Baan, George Osodi (2013), Makoko Floating School.
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NLÉ, Iwan Baan, George Osodi (2013), Makoko Floating School.
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NLÉ, Iwan Baan, George Osodi (2013), Makoko Floating School Section.

2. Chicoco Radio Station / NLÉ

The Chicoco Radio Station is also a floating structure designed by NLÉ in Port Harcourt in Nigeria as a community platform for people who live in waterfront settlements along the cities’ boundaries. Due to demolition plans for these settlements, the radio station may provide a voice and identity to these communities for upliftment and resettlement. 

The design has been kept sustainable, ecological in material utilization, and has major user participation.

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NLÉ(2014), Chicoco Radio Station.
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NLÉ(2014), Chicoco Radio Station- Bird’s Eye View.
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NLÉ(2014), Chicoco Radio Station- Spatial Organisation.

3. Abijo Mosque / Patrick Waheed Design Consultancy

The Abijo Mosque, in Lagos, is a building designed for the Abijo Community in the city to build education, religious and socio-cultural activities of the community. To develop a sense of community according to Abijo’s beliefs, large volumes with porosity were created along with openings to catch the wind. 

The rustic finish to the buildings along with the clean lines and volumes shows us the mix of modern touches with vernacular styles.

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Mujib Ojeifo, Patrickwaheed Design Consultancy (2020), Abijo Mosque.
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Mujib Ojeifo, Patrick Waheed Design Consultancy (2020), Scale and Architectural Language.
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Ruby’s Polaroid, Patrickwaheed Design Consultancy (2020), Scale and Architectural Language.

4. Edo Museum of Western African Art/ Adjaye Associates

The Edo Museum of Western African Arts, in the Benin City of Nigeria, is one of the few museums to exhibit the archaeological artifacts of the Benin Kingdom and other architectural structures present on site. The museum will contain multiple galleries while also creating a modern and polished ambiance for the visitors with diverse activities for refreshments and recreation. 

Construction of the museum will begin after a 5-year archaeological study of the site and surrounding context.

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Adjaye Associates (2020), Edo Museum of Western African Art.
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Adjaye Associates (2020), Internal Galleries with high ceilings to create pavilion-like spaces
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Adjaye Associates (2020), Section through the museum

5. Sencillo Beach House / cmDesign Atelier

The Sencillo Beach House in Ilashe, Lagos is known for its minimalistic environment and subtlety in the serene beach environment with minimum public saturation. Due to access via water transports only, the context is untouched by urbanization and exists in its primitive natural environment. 

The beach house reflects these qualities and factors of the context with white masses along with rose gold metal elements. 

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Medina Dugger, cmDesign Atelier (2019), Sencillo Beach House.
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Medina Dugger, cmDesign Atelier (2019), Sencillo Beach House.
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Medina Dugger, cmDesign Atelier (2019), Sencillo Beach House.
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cmDesign Atelier (2019), Sencillo Beach House- Section through the pool.

6. Fowóralé House / cmDesign Atelier

The Fowóralé House, in Lagos, is functionally oriented in a similar way to cater to the surrounding without any disruptive intentions and reflect upon the quality of the context with silent, subtle and clean materials and colors. The intent to derive horizontal and vertical framed views was achieved with longitudinal volumes on intersecting axes and to create a much more private setting for the family home.

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David Timibara, cmDesign Atelier (2017),Fowóralé House.
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David Timibara, cmDesign Atelier (2017),Fowóralé House.
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David Timibara, cmDesign Atelier (2017),Fowóralé House.

7. Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters / MOE+ Art Architecture

The African Fintech Foundry Headquarters in Lagos is a coworking space for the software engineers of the same. The brief was to design a space with a feeling of non-permanence to cultivate brighter ideas and thoughts in the socially dependent and cohabiting space for the engineers. Hence bright interiors with pops of color in some were achieved in deployable and modular shipping containers.

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Medina Dugger, Deji Atte, MOE+ Art Architecture (2017), Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters.
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Medina Dugger, Deji Atte, MOE+ Art Architecture (2017), Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters – bright interiors.
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Medina Dugger, Deji Atte, MOE+ Art Architecture (2017), Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters – transparency and hues in interiors.
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MOE+ Art Architecture (2017), Africa Fintech Foundry Headquarters – axonometric section.

8. Softcom Head Office / Micdee Designs

The Softcome Head Office in Lagos is a reflection of the rapid advancements in tech companies in Nigeria. To represent these factors, the workplaces and infrastructure has been uplifted to new levels with minimalistic yet contrasting approaches of inviting masses with transparency for the bright interiors inside. 

Distinctions between various departments have been represented via different color palettes of bright and neutral colors. Open environments were also deemed necessary with colorful elements.

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Ruby’s Polaroid, Micdee Designs(2019), Entrance of the office.
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Ruby’s Polaroid, Micdee Designs(2019), Open areas mirroring the Silicon Valley culture.
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Ruby’s Polaroid, Micdee Designs(2019), Coworking areas.

9. Kingsway Tower / SAOTA

The Kingsway Tower, located in Lagos, not only introduces a new architectural language to the city and country but also represents the world-class quality and execution of the tower, therefore, represents the emerging market globally. The objective was to create an identity as a landmark and also respond to the context and climate but also remain aesthetically appealing to the eye.

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Adam Letch, SAOTA (2019), Kingsway Tower as an identity in the city.
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Adam Letch, SAOTA (2019), Folded, Perforated Aluminum Screens as an identifier for the building.
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Adam Letch, SAOTA (2019), Interior Spaces.

10. Plastic Bottle Houses in Nigeria.

Houses with walls and columns made out of filled plastic bottles have become a major tourist attraction in Nigeria. They are sustainable, ecological, and prove to be much more durable and strong than masonry walls. The construction method has been explored in various other countries and now is being adopted by Nigeria. 

Over 50 houses are to be constructed in Yelwa Village and will be available for rent to tourists and visitors.

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Andreas Froese/ECOTEC (2011), Houses made out of filled plastic bottles.
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Andreas Froese/ECOTEC (2011), Houses made out of filled plastic bottles.
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Andreas Froese/ECOTEC (2011), Houses made out of filled plastic bottles.
Author

Ashwini is an architecture student who is trying to pursue her love for writing. She is an avid reader and also has an interest in graphic designing. She believes that the power of the pen can bring out the soul of a building to the mortal world.

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