Open House Lagos: Visit British Council Lagos’ Most Celebrated Buildings For FREE (Saturday & Sunday)

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Open House Lagos reveals over 30 buildings to be visited from the 30th April 2016 – 1st of May 2016 for FREE. The Open House Lagos tour will be under the guidance of professional buildings tour guides, registered participants will be given free access to the following buildings.

IMPORTANT: The meeting point for all the bus departures and tour endings is Sterling Bank’s car park on Marina, Lagos Island (opposite Sterling Tower and next to ConOil station). The car park is large and can accommodate visitors’ cars for those going on the bus tours. For entry, visitors should mention “Open House Lagos”.

Here are the listed buildings to be visited: Nigerian Railway Compound – selected houses, Locomotive Shed, British Council, Ikoyi, Bogobiri House, Ikoyi, Alara Store, Victoria Island, Plot G9, Banana Island, Radisson Blue Hotel, Victoria Island, Malaika Mews, Lekki, Maison Fahrenheit, Victoria Island, Freedom Park, Nestoil Tower, GTBank UNILAG Alumni Building, German Consulate, Makoko Hotspot, St Geroge’s Hall, Central Mosque, House on The Rock, Victoria Island, Churchgate Towers, Victoria Island, Heritage Place and so many more.  Well-designed buildings and public spaces are vital in creating and sustaining a vibrant city and Open House Lagos will enable the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgements about the architecture of their city.”Victoria Thornton OBE (Founder and Director of Open City/Open House Worldwide)

Get to find out about the history while also appreciating the architectural structure of each of these buildings. Below are pictures of some of these building accompanied by brief details on why they have been selected as part of Open House Lagos Tour. If you have ever wondered what is behind a particular building or its purpose or appreciated the structure or art form of a building in Lagos, this is your chance to explore some of the city’s most celebrated buildings.

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The Rock Cathedral

A 10,000-seater, purpose-built, fully air conditioned resource center nestled in the Lekki Peninsula of Lagos State, The Rock Cathedral is an ostensible monolith ‘built to serve God in the community’. The Rock Cathedral has a total floor area of 32,000sqm with a framed structured design that sits on 210 piles built to cater to all from the secular to the ecclesiastical. This towering state of the art facility archetypal of cathedrals the world over ‘symbolizes the glory of God and the church’ and it contains the main auditorium, ministry centre, educational facilities, recreational centre and health care facilities. Green Features: • Energy saving bulbs and LED lights • Precast concrete on hollow ribbed slabs • Presence detector system • Roof mounted wind powered extraction system on major corridors

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Body Lawson (Aerial View)
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St George’s Lodge Lagos Island

Founded in 1904, St.George’s Lodge was consecrated on 1st, July 1905. The foundation was laid on 5th January 1907 by Sir Walter Egerton; the Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. The building’s shows exquisitely finished pillars and railings on the balcony.

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Bogobiri House 1 – Architect: Chike Nwagbogu and Tola Akerele (Interior Design)

A triumph of local knowledge and materials over expensive imports. The Bogobiri concepts relies greatly on the use of local artisan unorthodox fixtures and fittings to create something very unique.

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Bogobiri House 2 – Architect: Chike Nwagbogu and Tola Akerele (Interior Design)
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House 41B Bourdillon

Shitta mosque

Shitta mosque was designed and built in 1982 by Joas Baptista da Costa and financed by Mohammed Shitta Bey, a prosperous trader of Creole extraction in late 19th century Lagos. In the ‘Record’ newspaper of 7 July 1894 described Shitta mosque as “the finest specimen of ecclesiastical architecture in West Africa”.Built as one of a pair of identical Colonial-style houses, this remains the closer in purity to the original state and vision. It is possibly Ikoyi’s finest.

Open House Lagos
Alara – The Concept Store (Architect: David Adjaye)

Alara is West Africa’s first signature concept store. It is a celebration of design talent – an architectural promenade through the different parts of the programme, culminating with the roof top space – an art gallery and terrace – that visually connects back to the city.

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Carlton Gate

This building’s design focuses on a courtyard that has been designed to function like an exterior room thereby providing privacy for the occupants.

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Ebute Metta Masonic Lodge
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Central Mosque
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Lagos HOMS

The double loaded corridor is converted into a skywalk suspended in an atrium, opening all theway to the roof. Light wells thus created on both sides of the skywalk transfer light and breeze all the way to the ground level as well as provide a buffer (for privacy) between the apartment and the walkway. The system of skywalks organizes the circulation arteries into a gradation of public, semi-public, semi-private and private spaces. This allows the atrium to double as a social, as well as circulation space. The spaces below the light wells are to be landscaped to create an indoor garden on the ground floor with plants growing through the wells to the upper reaches of the atrium.

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Holy Cross Cathedral

The foundation stone of Holy Cross Catholic Cathedral was laid on 6 August 1934 and dedicated in the late 50s. Built in the gothic tradition with burnt bricks and plastered with cement with deep and strong foundations due to the swampy terrain. 

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Lagos HOMS
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Jaekel House

Built in 1898, ‘Jaekel House’ which was set on a large expanse of landscaped land was named after the late Francis Jaekel OBE, a former superintendent of the Corporation, who retired in the seventies after almost thirty years of service for the Corporation. Jaekel House was formally the residence of the General Manager and was later converted to a senior staff rest house. Standing for over 100 years old, the house is an example of classic colonial architecture, that has been painstakingly restored by Professor John Godwin in 2010. Standing for over 100 years old, Jaekel House is an example of classic colonial architecture, that has been painstakingly restored by Professor John Godwin in 2010, to the joint headquarters for Legacy and the Railway Museum showcasing photographic archive dating from 1940s through to 1970s of personalities, places and historical events in pre and post independent Nigeria. 

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Heritage Place (Architect: Capita Symonds & ECAD)

Heritage Place is Nigeria’s most ultra modern, advanced and eco-friendly development, employing the latest building principles and state of the art finishes. It is also the first environmentally certified building in the city of Lagos.

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G9 Banana Island
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G9 Banana Island

Originally a pair of unidentical semi-detached houses but with only one built, the courtyard here acts as a means of climatic control, inducing coolness and creating architectural interest. 

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Lagos Island Central Mosque

Impeccably designed by a consortium of architects, Central mosque was opened for worship on Saturday, 28th, May 1988. The building was constructed with Ceramic tiles, the windows were made from Aluminium, the doors are latticed and it has a gold coated dome.

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Makoko Floating school

The Neighborhood Hotspot is essentially a physical manifestation of the principles of neighborhood management. It serves as a community center and soon as decentralized infrastructure hub with solar power, toilets and a biogas plant.

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Shitta-Bey mosque

Shitta mosque was designed and built in 1982 by Joas Baptista da Costa and financed by Mohammed Shitta Bey, a prosperous trader of Creole extraction in late 19th century Lagos. In the ‘Record’ newspaper of 7 July 1894 described Shitta mosque as “the finest specimen of ecclesiastical architecture in West Africa”.

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Iya Alasoke mosque (Oke-Arin)

Built in 1939 with a capacity of 420 worshippers. Please dress appropriately for entry to a mosque.

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Malaika mews
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Sterling House (Architect: FMA Architects)

This office building located on the Marina, provides the head office accommodation for Sterling Bank. The reinforced concrete frame is finished with precast concrete spandrels which in turn are clad in 75mm white glazed tiles. The building allows for flexibility of partitioning and ease of maintenance.

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Freedom Park

The much celebrated space was an old Prison that was rebuilt as a multi functional recreational park, retaining various sites used by the authorities of the prison. Freedom Park is a hotbed of artistic and creative activities; serving as an excellent example of repurposed architecture in the city.

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British Council

The material palette of white rendering, exposed concrete and locally-sourced Iroko timber, with the majestic height of the facade, evokes both vernacular informality and the authority befitting a quasi-diplomatic institution. The building won the RIBA International Award in 2006.

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Churchgate (Architect: Mr. Femi Peters)

With a property holdings exceeding 1,700,000 square meters covering Commercial towers, Residential property, Hotels, Warehouses and Factories, The Churchgate Towers has become one of Nigeria’s premier conglomerates. Tower One has the unique distinction of being the first all-steel and glass office tower constructed in Nigeria with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

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German Consulate

The German Mission for Nigeria was originally opened as a Consulate on the 4th of January 1954 and changed to an Embassy on the 1st of October 1960 as Nigeria became independent on the 1st of October 1960. The construction of the building started in February 1963 and finished in December 1964. On the 1st of October 1982 Abuja became the official capital of Nigeria, which was under construction since 1979. The Embassy moved to Abuja in 1999; since 2007 the building serves as the German Consulate General in Lagos, after an 8 year period as “Office of the Embassy”.

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GTBANK UNILAG Alumni Building (Architect: MOE+)

With a total area of 1147.4 sq. metres and a site plan area of 436.3 sq. metres; it is eye-catching as it carries a semblance of cubes staggered around each other. The ribbed floor system was used to cater for the large spans, as the columns within the building were not many. Also the columns were irregularly shaped to suit the architectural cubic- like design. The foundation type used was the isolated footing.

UNILAG – University of Lagos Buildings such as Guest House, Faculty of Sciences, Fridriech Ebert Foundation Building, Staff House Terrace and VC Lodge would be visited.

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Ilukwe House

A typical English railway design with a steel roof structure. The land is low-lying so much of the structure is supported on steel screw piles as were used for the original Carter Bridge. Currently housing 3 steam engines that badly need restoring. We need a great deal of help and funding for this and the construction of the museum.

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JD Parkview

This house has been designed to fit the notion of tropicalised climate control, with loggias, verandahs and courtyards. Simple in appearance, it boasts a most sophisticated garden.

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Locomotive Shed
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Old Running Shed

Built in 1898. A typical English railway design with a steel roof structure. The land is low-lying so much of the structure is supported on steel screw piles as were used for the original Carter Bridge. Currently housing 3 steam engines that badly need restoring. We need a great deal of help and funding for this and the construction of the museum. 

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Nestoil (Architect: ACCL)

The Nestoil Tower is a one-of-a-kind, mixed-use development; strategically located at the intersection of two major business districts (Akin Adesola Street and Saka Tinubu Street) in Victoria Island, with a panoramic view of the Eko Atlantic City and the Atlantic Ocean. Sitting on a land size of 3900sqm on 15 floors, the Nestoil Tower is an iconic structure with 9904 leasable commercial spaces and 23 residential apartments to provide a flexible accommodation to occupiers. 

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Nigeria Railway Corporation

Constructed in 1897, Old Running Shed was built from brick laid in lime mortar. The foundations were made from a mixture of mortar and broken brick. An interesting feature is the roof covering in welsh slates presumably imported with the coal which was used before the discovery of coal at Enugu.

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Radisson Blu (Architect: Moyo Ogunseinde & Sheye Ayandokun)

The Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos, located along the Lagoon in Victoria Island unapologetically stands out as its own architectural story. Designed by the combined talents of esteemed architect, Moyo Ogunseinde of Mika Associates for Uraga Real Estates and the famous Swedish hospitality designer, Christian Lundwall, the resulting fusion of African and Swedish sensibilities is clearly visible in the building’s modern and minimal, yet vibrant aesthetics. The hotel provides 170 finely appointed rooms and suites and was designed to balance functionality with form and good aesthetics. The main governing principle in the design concept was to achieve a modern facade with unique features and a structure that was welcoming both internally and externally.

On the Legacy drive by/walking tour: Da Rocha House, Lagos Island, Lumpkin House, Lagos Island, Old Secretariat / Govt Press Office, Lagos Island, Ilojo Bar/Olaiya House, Lagos Island, Salvation Army Building, Lagos Island, Vaughan House, Lagos Island, Godwin residence, Onikan and Government House, Marina would be visited.

Get The Schedule of the Tour Of These Buildings  – CLICK Open House Lagos: The Full Schedule – All You Need To Know (Saturday & Sunday)

Registration is still ongoing on the website; www.openhouselagos.com (IT’S FREE TO TAKE PART, JUST REGISTER)

IMPORTANT: The meeting point for all the bus departures and tour endings is Sterling Bank’s car park on Marina, Lagos Island (opposite Sterling Tower and next to ConOil station). The car park is large and can accommodate visitors’ cars for those going on the bus tours. For entry, visitors should mention “Open House 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, 360Nobs, Guardian Arts and Pulse NG.

For more information, please visit Website:www.britishcouncil.org.ng/uk-nigeria-2015-16/open-house | Twitter: @openhouselagos | Instagram: openhouselagos

Open House Lagos is supported  by Sterling Bank Plc “the one-customer bank” is a full service national commercial bank in Nigeria. In over 50 years of operations. Sterling Bank (formerly NAL Bank) has evolved from the nation’s pre-eminent investment banking institution to a fully-fledged commercial bank; and completed a merger with 4 other banks – Indo-Nigeria Merchant Bank, Magnum Trust Bank, NBM Bank and Trust Bank of Africa – as part of the 2006 consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry. 

IMPORTANT: The meeting point for all the bus departures and tour endings is Sterling Bank’s car park on Marina, Lagos Island (opposite Sterling Tower and next to ConOil station). The car park is large and can accommodate visitors’ cars for those going on the bus tours. For entry, visitors should mention “Open House Lagos”.

Tonia Soares

Tonia Soares

If you look hard enough you'll get my bio but here is a teaser "I never SLEEP, so I DREAM with my EYES open to serve YOU with the best 360nobs.com experience." I am all about what you SEE.

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