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House Design,open Floor Plans / Lagos Sealed Our House Over Land Use Charge / From Drab To Fab: Our House Construction Journey (2) (3) (4)

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d by FabioPeter: 1:31pm On Nov 01, 2013
s
Re: d by whirlwind7(m): 1:50pm On Nov 01, 2013
I think it's because few people burn woods in their kitchen nowadays, so little or no smoke is produced. Ventilation fans may be installed to get rid of smoke and fumes. Constructing chimneys in modern architecture is just for it's aesthetic, and not functional, purpose.

Even in temperate climates, few people still burn wood during winter to heat up their home. Electric and gas heaters do the job more efficiently, and so there's no need for chimneys.

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Re: d by Nobody: 2:04pm On Nov 01, 2013
House design or architecture has never followed a purposeful direction in Nigeria since after the 20th century. Earlier house designs, the mud type, served ergonomic purposes. Our ancestors knew why they needed that kind of architecture and embraced it in order to provide themselves maximum comfort while they relax in their own homes.

Modern architecture in Nigeria derives from the building culture handed down to Nigerians by their colonial administrators. British settlers in Nigeria had no idea what the natives really needed. They simply built these houses to their own taste, often furnishing it with extended balconies from which they could look down at their working slaves or very well at their subjects.

I don't think they needed a chimney as such. Chimneys serve as fireplaces and help with ventilation in the house. Perhaps they would help if you had a hot kitchen, but their main purpose has always been to function as fireplaces where you can get warmth in cold environments. For the British colonialists, there was never a need to add one to house designs. Africa is hot and a chimney would evidently serve no purpose. Africans themselves had pretty much no need for one, since the kitchen had always been situated outside the hut in the first place, and the building material used then didn't trap heat. When kitchens came into the building in later years, their location far from sleeping quarters never really necessitated adding a chimney where smoke can go.

More recently, there is starting to be need to develop African architecture. Home designs seem dogmatically tied to old inheritances from mid-20th century architecture. Nigeria has changed a lot, whether for good or bad; and there is need to African, or Lagos, architecture to evolve with it. Lack of electricity in most homes should warrant building more ventilation systems into homes. Evidently, this is not the case. Adaptable housing on coastal areas like Lagos Island should be a point of interest among Lagos architects. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

My main point in the whole story though, is to emphasize the need to develop an architecture that is more suitable for Africans given our socio-economic conditions. Many architects have already taken the bull by the horn and have dared to do something differently. Even though I can't mention the names of these architects off the top of my head, I have heard of different experiments being carried out lately. And these have signs of genius in them.

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Re: d by FabioPeter: 2:36pm On Nov 01, 2013
Thanks a lot for the enlightenment. Sometimes while frying in my kitchen(no ventilator, jst windows) I generayte a lots of smoke, I have to shut the door in order to prevent it getting trapped in other part of the house, I open the windows then say to myself "a chimney would have done a better job".
Re: d by Nobody: 2:45pm On Nov 01, 2013
You can equip your kitchen with a ventilator to lessen the effect of that. Just open a hole at the top & add a fan which blows outside.

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Re: d by TerraCotta(m): 2:37am On Nov 03, 2013
sauer:

More recently, there is starting to be need to develop African architecture. Home designs seem dogmatically tied to old inheritances from mid-20th century architecture. Nigeria has changed a lot, whether for good or bad; and there is need to African, or Lagos, architecture to evolve with it. Lack of electricity in most homes should warrant building more ventilation systems into homes. Evidently, this is not the case. Adaptable housing on coastal areas like Lagos Island should be a point of interest among Lagos architects. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

My main point in the whole story though, is to emphasize the need to develop an architecture that is more suitable for Africans given our socio-economic conditions. Many architects have already taken the bull by the horn and have dared to do something differently. Even though I can't mention the names of these architects off the top of my head, I have heard of different experiments being carried out lately. And these have signs of genius in them.

It's really encouraging to read these types of ideas from other Nigerians who are passionate about architecture and design. Building contemporary Nigerian homes that are indistinguishable from houses in suburban Texas or Toronto is a sad waste, in many cases. Obviously, people who are paying good money to build their own homes should be able to make them look however they like, but Nigerians don't seem to have much interest and flexibility about the range of options beyond standard-issue structures.

I actually happen to prefer midcentury modern architecture, and the tropical modernism of the 1960s (which is well-preserved on campuses and in a few neighborhoods in Lagos and Ibadan that I know of) is my all-time favorite design period. At the same time, I think current architects should be proposing more innovation than I've seen. Not just design for the sake of something flashy and new (which is fine if that's your thing), but design that incorporates new ideas about ventilation, rainwater and surrounding natural features.

Maybe we can get a good discussion going here about Nigerian architecture? If the OP feels satisfied by the earlier response on chimneys, which I agree with, I'd like to ask why so few new homes have real provisions for gardens? There's lots of concrete and maybe a row of hedges but you rarely see someone who's trying to maintain a good amount of greenery either in the front or back of their home.

My favorite African architectural inspiration is Joe Osae-Addo, who built his home in Ghana using locally sourced wood, a type of cement, clay and Palm kernel blend called pozzoghana (like pozzolano) and (regarding the chimney issue) enough ventilation not to need air conditioning:

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Re: d by Nobody: 6:41pm On Nov 03, 2013
TerraCotta:

It's really encouraging to read these types of ideas from other Nigerians who are passionate about architecture and design. Building contemporary Nigerian homes that are indistinguishable from houses in suburban Texas or Toronto is a sad waste, in many cases. Obviously, people who are paying good money to build their own homes should be able to make them look however they like, but Nigerians don't seem to have much interest and flexibility about the range of options beyond standard-issue structures.

I actually happen to prefer midcentury modern architecture, and the tropical modernism of the 1960s (which is well-preserved on campuses and in a few neighborhoods in Lagos and Ibadan that I know of) is my all-time favorite design period. At the same time, I think current architects should be proposing more innovation than I've seen. Not just design for the sake of something flashy and new (which is fine if that's your thing), but design that incorporates new ideas about ventilation, rainwater and surrounding natural features.

Maybe we can get a good discussion going here about Nigerian architecture? If the OP feels satisfied by the earlier response on chimneys, which I agree with, I'd like to ask why so few new homes have real provisions for gardens? There's lots of concrete and maybe a row of hedges but you rarely see someone who's trying to maintain a good amount of greenery either in the front or back of their home.

My favorite African architectural inspiration is Joe Osae-Addo, who built his home in Ghana using locally sourced wood, a type of cement, clay and Palm kernel blend called pozzoghana (like pozzolano) and (regarding the chimney issue) enough ventilation not to need air conditioning:


Many don't actually realize how much more they can save when they tow the "unconventional" line. So, we are talking not just comfort, but also cost here.
But I think it has to do generally with the reluctance of the Nigerian populace to embrace change. Isn't this even evident in the country's politics?

I know of many who snicker at GTB's architectural experiment with a number of their bank branches. Are these the same people who would dare build something different?

My feelings are, once our general attitude to change becomes more positive, many more people will understand what a different architecture can help them with and will certainly embrace it. At the same time, it is the duty of our architects to push to people more ergonomic designs appropriate for the Nigerian environment. This copy-cat mentality should stop!

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Re: d by FabioPeter: 5:11pm On Nov 12, 2013
TerraCotta:

It's really encouraging to read these types of ideas from other Nigerians who are passionate about architecture and design. Building contemporary Nigerian homes that are indistinguishable from houses in suburban Texas or Toronto is a sad waste, in many cases. Obviously, people who are paying good money to build their own homes should be able to make them look however they like, but Nigerians don't seem to have much interest and flexibility about the range of options beyond standard-issue structures.

I actually happen to prefer midcentury modern architecture, and the tropical modernism of the 1960s (which is well-preserved on campuses and in a few neighborhoods in Lagos and Ibadan that I know of) is my all-time favorite design period. At the same time, I think current architects should be proposing more innovation than I've seen. Not just design for the sake of something flashy and new (which is fine if that's your thing), but design that incorporates new ideas about ventilation, rainwater and surrounding natural features.

Maybe we can get a good discussion going here about Nigerian architecture? If the OP feels satisfied by the earlier response on chimneys, which I agree with, I'd like to ask why so few new homes have real provisions for gardens? There's lots of concrete and maybe a row of hedges but you rarely see someone who's trying to maintain a good amount of greenery either in the front or back of their home.

My favorite African architectural inspiration is Joe Osae-Addo, who built his home in Ghana using locally sourced wood, a type of cement, clay and Palm kernel blend called pozzoghana (like pozzolano) and (regarding the chimney issue) enough ventilation not to need air conditioning:


Yes we can talk more on Architecture. It is quite fascinating to define an architecture that is uniquely Nigerian.
I think like our meals (eba, yam, rice,amala) we have been way too conservative or maybe stereotype. We do things the say way our ancestor's did thiers. The only time there is a change is when we import it just like "our" architecture.
We need to be a lot more ingenious.
Re: d by since1914(m): 1:51pm On Dec 02, 2014
sauer:


Many don't actually realize how much more they can save when they tow the "unconventional" line. So, we are talking not just comfort, but also cost here.
But I think it has to do generally with the reluctance of the Nigerian populace to embrace change. Isn't this even evident in the country's politics?

I know of many who snicker at GTB's architectural experiment with a number of their bank branches. Are these the same people who would dare build something different?

My feelings are, once our general attitude to change becomes more positive, many more people will understand what a different architecture can help them with and will certainly embrace it. At the same time, it is the duty of our architects to push to people more ergonomic designs appropriate for the Nigerian environment. This copy-cat mentality should stop!


Great discourse! How come am only just seeing this thread now? I agree with you, it is sad to look around and see all these buildings that look like they had been designed by the same person, because they all look alike. Apart from a few adventurous Architects and designers, most of the people here in Nigeria just conform to the status quo. The root of this problem lies in the Architectural educational system, because students are discouraged from thinking outside the box. Most times during design studio sessions you hear lecturers tell their students 'this can't work', just because they dared to think outside the 'accepted' realm.

This sort of opposition also continues right after design school. Where Architects (and even non-architects) who have never practised before, are placed in government regulatory agencies like the urban development councils to decide the fate of Architecture In Nigeria. Here they simply refuse to approve any type of design they have never seen before, irrespective of its merits.

That said, I still think designers need to devote time and resources to personal development, they can't keep designing just for the fun of it, every building design should be able say something on its own. The NIA should act more like a professional body rather as just a social organisation for old Architects, they should overhaul the curriculum of design schools, so also to raise a new breed of Designers with the 'right' attitude. They should also impress it on their colleagues in the academia on the need to evolve with the times.

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