Hidden Treasures In Lagos; As Told By Open House Lagos
Highly underestimated is the architectural structure Lagos boasts of. Good thing we witnessed and partook in the first Open House event in Africa hosted by British Council in conjunction with Open House Worldwide and Sterling Bank. The treasures in form of buildings came in form of 30 unique buildings which kindly opened their doors to the public are a marvelous sight to behold. Buildings like Nigerian Railway Compound, British Council, Sterling Towers, Bogobiri House, Alara Store, Plot G9, Banana Island, Radisson Blue Hotel, Malaika Mews, Maison Fahrenheit, Freedom Park, Nestoil Tower, GTBank UNILAG Alumni Building and Bayo Kuku, German Consulate,Holy Cross Cathedral, St George’s Hall, Central Mosque, The Rock Cathedral, Churchgate Towers and Heritage Place.
The festival opened with a symposium on Friday,29th April 2016 with the theme: ‘Lagos, The Good, the Bad and the Excellent’. Moderated by Olamide Udoma – Ejorh and panelists included architects Tosin Oshinowo, James George and Chuka Ihonor, The tour itself began on Saturday, 30th April and ran to Sunday, 1st May 2016.
Director Arts, Ojoma Ochai said ‘ it is so easy to take a city like Lagos for granted, but a festival like this allows us to stop and just wander round and really look at the buildings in which the people of this wonderful city live, work and play’ and we can relate to this as we unravel these hidden treasures in Lagos as told by the brilliant Open House Lagos.
Nigerian Railway Compound
We wish we had a better picture of the Nigerian Railway compound but we would make do with this amazing picture of the railway track. There is a feeling of nostalgia when we remember what it felt like to play on those tracks (for those of us that lived close to it) this compound really holds so much history.
You must hear about Bogobiri a lot if you live in Lagos. the open mic night might intrigue you but the greatest part of Bogobiri is the scenery and the peace the architecture gives you. You may think that the building has nothing to do with it, but it does have everything to do with it.
Do you live on the Island? Ever ventured into Agungi after the 5th roundabout. Maybe you should. Hidden among the normal duplexes and complexes is the minimalist Malaika Mews. Talk about a diamond in a rough. This white building stand untouched and has your attention without trying. Looking at this picture, it is almost hard to believe that this building stands in Lagos.
Holy Cross Cathedral
One cannot possibly talk about great Lagos architecture and exclude this building. Take a look at this divine building; the favourite must capture to photographers and lomographers. Lagos is truly beautiful, hidden in the hustle and bustle of Lagos Island this building speaks of its essence and we absolutely relate with it.
St George’s Hall
As we discovered colonial Lagos, St Geroge’s hall was on our list. Lately people want to build new structures and create new messages with buildings. But let’s not forget that our Lagos is a mixture of something new, something old and something borrowed.
The Rock Cathedral
This magnificent building piqued a lot of interest when it was still being built. The Rock is absolutely a building of architectural splendor. Everything about this building speaks mightily of details. Years from now, this building would tell a story of the Lagos we owned to the future generation in line to taken it.
If you lived on the mainland in the early 2000’s, then crossing Falomo bridge and admiring the blinking lights on Churchgate as you ventured into the Island might have been one of your favorite pastimes. This building has indeed stood the test of time, one of the most magnificent skyscrapers the new island could call it’s own. Like the best of treasures, Churchgate Towers, which now boasts two other towers, has been hiding in plain sight.
Like all good things, the festival came to a close at Freedom Park with a delightful stage play performance of Love at War a Nigerian adaptation of Two Noble Kinsmen directed bySegun Adefila and Jan-Willem Van Den Bosch.
Thank you British Council, thank you Open House. Thank you for touring Lagos and exposing these gems. Thank you for the new culture that is stirring as people fall in love with these buildings and the architecture of Lagos all over again. Thank you for redefining the beauty of Lagos.
Open House Lagos is proudly supported by Sterling Bank Nigeria, OMENKA, City FM, WFM, Spice TV, Guardian TV, The Guardian, Hello Magazine, Mania Magazine, Genevieve Magazine, Wings Magazine, Exquisite Magazine, Guardian Life, BellaNaija, 54 Artistry, Pride Magazine, TSA, Olorisupergal, Olodo Nation, 360 Nobs, Guardian Arts and Pulse NG.