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    Classification of nigerian architecture Essay

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    It portrays the Historical Style (represented by he European, Brazilian and North African Trends) through Traditional Architecture and the Modern Style (with the International Style, the New West African Style and the PostModern Trend). There is a very weak link between the Historical Style (including Traditional Architecture), and contemporary modern architecture of Nigeria. The Historical Style reveals how architects can draw inspiration from historical heritage as evidenced by the Regional Trend of contemporary Nigerian architecture.

    The author studied the work, ideas and aspirations of some leading architects in the country in order to see owe the trends and styles of this genealogy relate logically to the contemporary situation. The presentation of contemporary masterpieces gives a general overview of the recent situation and identifies the basic problems that the designers are facing. Keywords: Style: Distinctive or characteristic expression of architectural ideas, as of a specified period in history.

    Trend: To have a tendency or prevailing direction: general tendency. The period embraced by this presentation spans a few centuries starting from pre-colonial times and ending with recent developments. The genealogy s portrayed by a model of evolution in Nigerian architecture (Fig. 1). The inspirations were drawn from such architectural critics as Keno Tangent, Louis Khan, Dad Louis Hustle, Nikolas Vesper and Charles Senses to mention a few. This paper often relies on some recognized movements newly defined. UT some trends are A basic distinction in Nigerian architecture can be made between the North and the South, and this is best pronounced by Traditional Architecture and Traditional Style. The strongest influences on indigenous architecture were the introduction of Islam into Northern Nigeria, the return of the slaves from the Americas (especially Brazil), and colonization. The Historical Style consists of the European Trend followed by the Colonial Style.

    The Brazilian Trend evolved into the Brazilian Style while the North African Trend evolved into Sudanese Architecture. The blend of Traditional Architecture and Historical Styles formed Vernacular Architecture. Before considering the historical influences, a mention should be made of antiquity. The Nook civilization developed in the central part of Nigeria present territory between 500 BC and 200 BC. Possessing the knowledge of iron, these grassland people moved into the forest country (Clarke 1984) and that was when people Set up new homes at Fife and other places.

    The Hausa were then a number of different people. Although knowledge of the achievements of the Nook civilization is wide it is difficult to imagine the form of their settlements. On the contrary knowledge of the architecture of the Middle Ages is rather extensive.

    3. 1 Traditional Architecture and Traditional Style

    The more stable and enduring towns of pre-colonial Africa developed because of the intense ritual of market activity. Oliver (1976) called these cities pre-industrial cities, which were theatres of competition for the symbols of power and material well being.

    Initially, some towns emerged as collecting points for wandering immigrants who used their favorable locations as spiritual or cultural bases for subsequent territorial expansion. For the Hausa and Your, Durra and Fife respectively became spiritual springboards for the establishment of extensive empires. In a city like Kane, group masons and other specialized trades could be found in the past, basic elements off real building industry. From the 1 5th century, the mosque was one of the cost prominent buildings in Hausa towns.

    The basic house walls were often dad of mud. In the Your zone of Nigeria the chief Ads (Boobs) palace and the market place dominated the central areas of well-planned cities like Ill-elf (1 lath century), Leash and Kite. The populace lived in compounds each of which had a large house set in a square-shaped space bounded by a high wall. Some were more than a half-acre in size and provided living space for a large family and kinsmen. There was only a single entrance. Inside, the compounds were divided into numerous rooms.

    Until the early twentieth century, most of the compounds as well as the Boobs palace were roofed with thatch. The conclusion can then be drawn that in the Traditional Style the roofs of the houses were constructed to thatch, but quite early in the development to Northern Nigerian towns the thatched roof was replaced by the flat or dome-shaped mud roof (Fig. 2). The climate, human physiology and geography led to the development of curvilinear, conical and mud-roofed structures in the North and the rectilinear thatch-roof mud houses of the South (Daytona 1986, p. 5). Manner to the expansion of world trade.

    According to Payne (1977), Oh cash economy had developed and was well able to exploit the benefits of international trade for internal development. Three factors combined to make a radical transformation of the Nigerian scene in the 19th century – the Muslim Jihads and Your civil wars, European exploration and missionary efforts, and a revolution in trade. The influence of Britain started mainly through the trade of slaves in the 18th century, which was however brought to an end in the middle of the 19th century.

    Nigeria became a protectorate of England with Lagos as a colony. In 1914 Southern Nigeria, Northern Nigeria and the Colony of Lagos got united and became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Because of the expansion of Britain in the landscape of Nigerian architecture new types of buildings were introduced. These were usually either imported 18th century houses of the English countryside or prefabricated constructions with deep verandas and overhanging eaves. These were sometimes raised on stilts (Diadems 1975-1976), and they usually had a continuous horizontal band of windows.

    The physical appearance of settlements changed because of the introduction of new building materials from Europe. Corrugated iron sheeting and cement have had perhaps the greatest effect (Denier 1978). These buildings represent the Colonial Style, whose character is nevertheless cost distinctively represented by public and administrative buildings from that era (Fig. 3). These are reminiscent of the classic revival in England with the classic orders carved out of walls to give impressive scale. Figure 2: Traditional Architecture of the North.

    A structure masterly covered with several domes with very small openings on external walls. Source: Authors photograph.

    3. 2 The European Trend and the Development of the Colonial Style

    During the 18th and 19th centuries the region occupying the territory of today’s Nigeria developed dynamic economies, which adapted in a positive Figure 3: Colonial Style. High Court Building, Lagos, by Watkins and Partners, 1950. Source: Schultz, 1975, p. 26.

    3. 3 Brazilian Style

    For four centuries, the slave trade dominated relations between the peoples of Nigeria and peoples of Europe and America.

    Many Nigerian who were forcibly settled in the New World soon lost their identities. The Your, on the other hand frequently preserved his cultural individuality. A large group of slaves revolted in Brazil in the asses, for example, and were repatriated to Nigeria. At the time when freed slaves returned to West Africa from the Americas, there appeared a new style allied the Brazilian Style. It emerged with a new architecture different from the traditional huts and colonial structures. It also fulfilled the need for a more distinguished form.

    There were very often two-storey houses built in cement and embellished with heavy ornamental pillars and balustrades and can still be seen in Lagos and other Southern cities. They are certainly worth being preserved.

    3. 4 The North African Trend and the Development of Sudanese Architecture

    Islam undoubtedly had a strong effect on homegrown architecture because: it applies geometric designs and it had an impact on form, scale, proportion ND aesthetics. The dome-shaped mud roof became very popular.

    It gave the North a distinctive appearance reminiscent of cities in North Africa. Worth noting is that Hausa vaults or Bake Zoo were mostly used for ceiling construction and architectural decorations were adopted in mosques ceiling construction. Further on in Hausa towns merchants began to adorn the outside walls to the otherwise traditional houses with elaborate molded designs executed in cement. The old, non-figurative clay walls gave way to painted decorations executed in paint and sometimes in figurative patterns.

    3. 5 Vernacular Architecture

    In the evolution of historic settlements, external models dominated increasingly the choice of materials and techniques as well as decoration, the size and relationship of the rooms and the formal organization of the dwellings. These models mastered by the people would, according to Langley (1976) become the foundations for a vernacular architecture, Dan architecture specific to a country and a peoples. In the Nigerian context, vernacular architecture is expressed in forms deriving from the culture influences of Brazil, North Africa and Europe. These forms have a traditional ease in the socio-cultural organization of the Nigerian society and the interaction between it and the other influences have crystallized into the Nigerian Vernacular Architectures (Diadems 1975-76). For example in the rural areas of South-Eastern Nigeria, family mutual help gradually disappeared, and a housing model inspired from the Brazilian urban houses, involving the use of new materials and new building techniques spread rapidly.

    4. 0 Modern Style

    In Nigeria motifs of the modern movement had become very popular by the late asses.

    One of these was the modern flat roof, which proved to be bad solution for the tropics with heavy rainfall. The first tall buildings in the new Modern Style appeared in Lagos in the late asses starting with Shell now (National House) and Co-pop Bank. In the Middle East in the early asses Western models for buildings were used almost without thinking in order to meet local wishes and produce progressive buildings which were noticeably up-to-date and by implication, Western in flavor. In the Nigerian context architects often tried to make the buildings suitable to the weather and local conditions.

    Successful were such architectural firms as Deli Engage and Partners, Design Group Nigeria, Lowell Alumina and Associates and Ella Wizard Associates.

    4. 1 International Style

    The International Style adapted to Nigeria dominates contemporary modern architecture of Nigeria. It usually explores simple geometrical forms but often with exposed parapet walls. Characteristic is the use of concrete external walls supplemented by concrete, steel or aluminum sun shading devices (Senate Building at ABA Kari, Management House in Lagos, CSS Bookshop House in Lagos).

    This style is well represented by the architecture created by architects of the older generation who ere trained abroad in modern ideas. This architecture is best portrayed by the term Pure Modern. The International Style is also represented in Nigeria by high rise buildings portrayed by the term High-Troop and by housing for the low income group referred to as Low-Troop architecture. More than one third of modern buildings in Nigeria urban centers belong to the International Style.

    The 51 buildings are designed here along with modern ideas with the use of clean forms like cubes, cuboids or compositions of simple geometrical solids. They explore the ideas of simplicity and functionality.

    4. 2 Pure Modern

    Some of the young architects (foreigners) who were behind the first modern buildings came to Nigeria as to an unknown exotic country. All Nigerian practicing then were also educated abroad. They came with all the hopes and dreams the new generation had about modern architecture.

    Perfection was attained by Arc. Alumina in his Management House on Audio Taylor Street at Victoria Island in Lagos. It is only through working and reworking that the idea of a brain was embodied in architectural form. The design for the Faculty of Education in Abidjan by Deli Engage and Partners completed in 1976 UT unfortunately only partly built, is very simple. It pronounces the architecture of modern pioneers. Excellence was attained by James Cubit in the Senate Building at ANNUAL and Mobil Building- both in Lagos.

    National Oil & Chemical Marketing Company Building (Eagle House) in Lagos and Broking House in Abidjan by Design Group Nigeria are valued here particularly for the first level which refer to human scale. Only on rare occasions one is able to perceive a whole – the building is usually seen in pieces trot the perspective to a pedestrian. Buildings like the Attlee block on Abraham Await Road in Kane by Fem. Macedonia Associates having a perfect location constitute a strong accent with its polygonal shape on plan and its transparency contrasting with more solid concrete surfaces.

    Fem. Macedonia Associates are also the authors of BRI Building in APIPA, Lagos where they made use of reflecting surfaces to create an abstract image of piercing solids. In ANAL Towers at Marina in Lagos the bright white wall surfaces contrast sharply with elegant dark strips and wide window bands. This same idea is used by Multi-systems in the proposal for Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank at Baja. In conclusion it can be said that this presentation concerns very elegant but extremely expensive structures.

    There are numerous good examples because according to Perusal-gunshot (1993, p. 217) 36% of buildings in Nigeria were designed in the International Style and very many of them belong to the Pure Modern Trend.

    4. 3 High-Troop

    A proud architecture High-troop architecture is an architecture of glass boxes. The buildings in that trend are extra modern and use high technologies, reflective glass and central air conditioning. To this group belong mainly banks and offices especially in Lagos. This roof will normally embrace buildings from five floors and above.

    The risk for people in such buildings starts beyond the reach of turntable ladders because the Nigerian fire fighting capacity is entirely ground based. The High-Troop trend does not necessarily follow Amnesia formulas for tall buildings. The buildings which explore different meanings are: IAMB Building, Victoria Island, Lagos (1985), by Incase Architects (Fig. 4), and First Bank Headquarters in Lagos (1982/83) by Ronald Ward Associates. The forms of the buildings are in contradiction to what the bureaucratic movement with pure forms ND curtain walls of skyscrapers in America represent. 2 Figure 4: High Troop. IAMB Building, Victoria Island, Lagos by Incase Architects. Source: Photograph by Arc. O. A. Dromedary.

    4. 4 Low-troop

    The architecture of the masses Low-troop Architecture represents architecture to the masses, architecture of draughtsman, and low income estates reminiscent of monotonous housing estates in Eastern Europe. Here apart from lack of good aesthetics, the standard of living is very low. Common are Face me I face you apartments, bungalows or two-storey houses. When constructing, local materials and local labor re used. (Zoom, 1997).

    This architecture can be easily observed in cities and suburban areas and it shapes the landscape of Nigerian Architecture. This is probably the most challenging area for architects, to find ways and means to influence this architecture to make it more human but not more expensive. Here the call of Buena Associates for innovations is somehow answered by Triad Architects who designed screen wall elements (blocks), which allow for privacy and air penetration. They applied the blocks in the Political Party Offices all over Nigeria and even started its local production in Sudan.

    In James Cubit Architects buildings although air conditioning is assumed, and they use tinted or reflective glass usually there is a provision for cross ventilation as in Mobil Building in Lagos (1991) with its atrium. Cross ventilation is particularly valued in buildings by Deli Engage and Partners and by Niger Consultants. Climate plays a very dominant role in Alumina and Associates architecture. Alumina recognized the importance of vegetation and believed in incorporating water into design (Management House, Architecture House and Eke Meridian Hotel in Lagos).

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