A FUSION OF NIGERIA’S REGIONAL ARCHITECTURAL STYLES IN THE DESIGN OF PROPOSED NATIONAL ARTS AND HISTORY MUSEUM, ABUJA

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A FUSION OF NIGERIA’S REGIONAL ARCHITECTURAL STYLES IN THE DESIGN OF PROPOSED NATIONAL ARTS AND HISTORY MUSEUM, ABUJA

Abstract

Several researches have been done to ascertain the impact or influence of Euro-American architectural style to third world countries, especially within Africa. This thesis argues that the architecture of Nigeria as obviously distinct between her 3 major geo-political zones; Hausa land, Igbo land and Yoruba land, also referred to as Regionalism existent within each zone, bear common features in terms of both sense of space as well as sense of place as obvious in their planning concept and or building form, which provides a centre for fusion to obtain a unique style that cuts across all three regions with intrinsic identity. Given the odds of such a fusion it is suggested under the aegis of Deconstructivism, an architectural philosophy concerned with abstraction and fragmentation of constructs towards the evolution of new forms of existence of same. The data for this research was gathered both from literature on the architectural history of Nigeria from the Traditional to post-modern era and from field data obtained Museum buildings from each of the three regions studied. Its tool for assessment included a walk-through survey and check list analysis of variables learned from literature, both of which are essential for an Exploratory Qualitative research as this. The research employs the use of both graphs and charts to interpret field data. The result was validated by a focus group analysis involving both student and staff architects of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to ensure viability. Relevant findings from the study showed that the trio-regions were best fused by Trace philosophy of Deconstructivism in search of a national identity with 30%, 30%, 28.33% attributes for Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba regions respectively and 11.67% undecidables. Its implication to design includes that the new Nigerian archetype among other parameters should centre on local climate sensitivity, use of indigenous building materials and functional consideration in circulation spaces.

 

Table of Contents

Title Page …………………………………………………………………… Error! Bookmark not defined.

Declaration……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iv

Certification …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… v

Dedication …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. vi

Acknowledgement ………………………………………………………………………………………………… vii

Abstract  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… viii

Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ix

List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. xv

List of Tables ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… xvii

List of Plates ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… xviii

Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. xxCHAPTER ONE …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

1.0           INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………. 1

1.1           Research Background ………………………………………………………………………………. 1

1.2             Problem Statement ………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

1.3            Justification …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

1.4            Aim and Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

1.41            Aim ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

1.42            Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

1.5            Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

1.6            Research Hypothesis ………………………………………………………………………………… 6

1.7             Scope ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6

1.8            Limitation of the study …………………………………………………………………………….. 6

CHAPTER TWO ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

2.0            LITERATURE REVIEW ………………………………………………………………………… 7

2.2           Evolution of Architecture in Nigeria …………………………………………………………. 7

2.2.1           Historical style/Traditional Architecture …………………………………………………….. 8

2.2.2           Post-Colonial Architecture in Nigeria……………………………………………………….. 10

2.2.3           Challenges of Contemporary Nigerian Architecture …………………………………… 12

2.2.4          Architects’ ideal Nigerian Architecture …………………………………………………….. 12

2.2.5          Architecture of Identity …………………………………………………………………………… 13

2.3            Regionalism and Its Prospect for National Identity …………………………………. 13

2.3.1          Northern Nigerian Regionalism ……………………………………………………………….. 15

2.3.2           Eastern Nigerian Regionalism …………………………………………………………………. 18

2.3.3           Western Nigerian Regionalism ………………………………………………………………… 20

2.4            Deconstructivism- an Architectural Philosophy ………………………………………. 23

2.4.1           Theory of Deconstruction ……………………………………………………………………….. 24

2.4.2           Conceptual Reality in Architectural Deconstructivism ……………………………….. 26

2.5            Reactions to Architectural Deconstruction ……………………………………………… 27

2.5.1           Protagonists of Deconstructivism …………………………………………………………….. 27

2.5.2          Antagonists of Deconstructivism ……………………………………………………………… 32

2.6              Museum Buildings ………………………………………………………………………………….34

2.6.1            Definition and Meaning of Museum ………………………………………………………….34

2.6.2           History of Museum Buildings …………………………………………………………………..35

2.6.3            Types of Museums ………………………………………………………………………………….39

2.6.4            Museum Planning …………………………………………………………………………………..40

2.7              Museum Function …………………………………………………………………………………..41

2.7.1          Benefits of museums ………………………………………………………………………………. 42

2.7.2           Challenges faced by museums …………………………………………………………………. 43

2.8            Museum Buildings in Nigeria …………………………………………………………………. 43

2.8.2           The missing Link …………………………………………………………………………………… 45

2.9            Deconstructivist Museums ……………………………………………………………………… 45

2.9.1           Case Study of Jewish Museum, Berlin ……………………………………………………… 47

2.9.2           Case Study Deductions …………………………………………………………………………… 51

CHAPTER THREE ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 52

3.1            RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ……………………………………………………………. 52

3.2            Research Strategy ………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

3.3            Research Design …………………………………………………………………………………….. 53

3.4            Research Methods ………………………………………………………………………………….. 53

3.4.1          Visual Survey ………………………………………………………………………………………… 54

3.4.2           Case Study ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 55

3.5           Population and Sample …………………………………………………………………………… 56

3.5.1           Sampling Frame …………………………………………………………………………………….. 57

3.5.2            Method of Sampling ……………………………………………………………………………….57

3.6          Instruments for Data Collection ………………………………………………………………58

3.6.1           Method of Data Collection ……………………………………………………………………….58

3.6.2            Variables for the Study ……………………………………………………………………………59

3.6.3            Method of Data Analysis …………………………………………………………………………60

3.7             Interpretation of Findings ……………………………………………………………………….60

CHAPTER FOUR ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 62

4.1           DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS ……………………………………………. 62

4.2            Case Study …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 62

4.2.1           Gidan Makama National Museum, Kano ………………………………………………….. 63

4.3.1           National Museum of Colonial History, Aba ………………………………………………. 68

4.4.1           National Museum Onikan, Lagos …………………………………………………………….. 75

4.5             Checklist Survey ……………………………………………………………………………………. 80

4.5.1           Gidan Makama National Museum, Kano ………………………………………………….. 81

4.5.2           National Museum of Colonial History, Aba ………………………………………………. 82

4.5.3           National Museum Onikan, Lagos …………………………………………………………….. 83

4.6           Comparative Analysis …………………………………………………………………………….. 84

4.6.1           Check List Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………….. 84

4.6.2           Walk-through Assessment ………………………………………………………………………. 85

4.6.3          Deconstructivist Fusion of the 3 Cases ……………………………………………………… 87

4.7             Reliability of Findings ……………………………………………………………………………. 91

CHAPTER FIVE ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 92

5.0           SITE ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 92

5.1          Background Information of the Study Area …………………………………………….92

5.2             Site Selection Criteria ……………………………………………………………………………..93

5.3             Site Location …………………………………………………………………………………………..94

5.4             Site Climate Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………95

5.4.1            Temperature …………………………………………………………………………………………..95

5.4.2          Rainfall …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 96

5.4.3           Wind and Air Movement ………………………………………………………………………… 97

5.4.4          Sunshine ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 98

5.4.5           Humidity ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 98

5.5            Summary of Climate Analysis ………………………………………………………………… 99

5.6            Site Features and Analysis ……………………………………………………………………. 100

5.6.1          Site Shape and Size ………………………………………………………………………………. 100

5.6.2           Site Access ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 100

5.6.3          Topography and Drainage ……………………………………………………………………… 100

5.6.4           Vegetation and Soil Cover …………………………………………………………………….. 101

5.6.5           Pollution Factors ………………………………………………………………………………….. 102

5.7            Summary of Site Analysis …………………………………………………………………….. 102

CHAPTER SIX ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 103

6.0             DESIGN REPORT ………………………………………………………………………………. 103

6.1            Preliminary Proposal ……………………………………………………………………………. 103

6.2            Space Requirement ………………………………………………………………………………. 103

6.3            Schedule of Accommodation …………………………………………………………………. 104

6.4          Design Development …………………………………………………………………………….. 105

6.4.1           Bubble Diagram …………………………………………………………………………………… 105

6.4.2          Activity Zoning / Functional Flow Chart …………………………………………………. 106

6.5            Design Consideration ……………………………………………………………………………. 106

6.5.1           Security ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 107

6.5.2          Layout Concept ……………………………………………………………………………………. 107

6.5.3           Day Lighting ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 108

6.5.4           Evacuation/ Emergency response …………………………………………………………… 108

6.5.5           Building Form/ Material ……………………………………………………………………….. 109

6.6            Design Concept/ Philosophy ………………………………………………………………….. 109

6.7            Design Discussion …………………………………………………………………………………. 110

6.7.1          Plans …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 110

6.7.2           Sections ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 112

6.7.3          Elevations ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 113

CHAPTER SEVEN …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 114

7.0             SUMMARY, CONCLUSION & CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE 114

7.1           Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 114

7.2            Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………… 115

7.3             Recommendation …………………………………………………………………………………. 115

7.3.1           Areas for Further Research ……………………………………………………………………. 116

7.4           Contribution to Knowledge …………………………………………………………………… 116

REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 117

CHAPTER ONE

                                                                    1.0       INTRODUCTION

                                                                1.1       Research Background

The world as we know it undergoes constant changes. These changes include evolution of humans, animals and plants. During the Neolithic age, humans lived in cluster formations around large fresh water sources along valleys, such as the Tigris and Euphrates. First Settlements date to around 9000 BC following Neolithic revolution (Ahmed, 2014). Regional formation and amalgamations gave rise to formation of larger kingdoms, colonialism extended the rules and reigns of these kingdoms across seas, oceans, and even continents. Where ever humans went, they went with their beliefs, their culture, their tradition; this was their identity, and where ever basic resources for survival were available, they would settle until they require more space. This was how the colonial masters entered Africa in 1884, and in 1914, northern and southern Nigeria were united for administrative purposes into a single British colony (American Historical Association, 2013).

Nigeria enjoyed a rich cultural and natural heritage, traceable from antiquity to contemporary times, spread across its geo-political zones. Such as is evident in the diversity of the people’s way of life, worship of deity, cultural identity, creative arts, settlements, and even recreation. Though there is archaeological evidence that societies have been living in Nigeria for more than twenty-five hundred years, the borders of modern Nigeria were not created until the British consolidated their colonial power over the area in 1914. Nigeria’s pre-colonial periods enjoyed leadership of the divided territories by traditional native rulers. The people were basically agrarian community, with the south involved in hunting and gathering, the North was committed to ground nut and cereal farming, while the east farmed yams and processed palm oil. It could be perceived that a shared value among these people was their skin colour, cultural identity and artefacts including pieces of statuary and carvings, rare coins, archaeological and ethnographic formations. The 1920s and 1930s saw worldwide economic crisis.  This period saw the rise of efforts by African Americans and others of African descent outside of Africa to link the condition of colonized Africans to universal concepts of justice, natural rights, and human rights with the goal of eliminating colonialism by promoting independence (American Historical Association, 2013).

In most third world countries, colonialism improved facets of the peoples’ economy, education, industry and health care, etc. while it depletes layers of cultural significance, tradition and identity through an injection of modernity, some of which were valid “in a world totally dominated by Western economies where one must modernize or starve” (Habib, 1985). This cultural depletion anchors the problem of architecture in many third world countries. Hoteit (2015) describes architecture as one of the oldest human crafts. It began with the birth of man and accompanied him through the different stages of his development, changed as he changed and mirrored his different influences. Therefore, architecture, similar to man, is influenced by society, customs, traditions, intellect, politics and economics. Adeyemi (2008) explains that Nigerian Traditional architecture which once denoted typical Nigerian buildings, especially houses of residence in both Northern, Western and Eastern region; worship places such as the famous Zaria massalacci buildings and Town

Palaces gave way to massive “thoughtless” importation of foreign styles from the Europeans and Americans, thereby corralling the Traditional architectural identity to a niche. Nigeria’s colonization lasted until 1960.

According to Habib (1985) Regionalism as an ideology is gradually asserting itself among intellectuals of the Third World as well as a lot of Western thinkers thinking about the Third World. It is a response to architecture of “places, culture and climate” (William, 1982), that succeeded the Traditional architecture of third world countries. Researches including

William (1982), Habib (1985), Adeyemi (2008) Frampton (1983) and Procnal-Ogunsote (1993), among several others, have explored the strengths of Regionalism and its prospect for architectural identity in regional societies, and a dare to say, national identity, especially third world countries. In some instances, countries newly independent from colonial rule pursued a philosophy of modernization as a strategy towards cultural identity (Habib, 1985).

This has led to theories like critical regionalism, an architectural “commitment to place rather than space,” (Frampton, 1983). Its limitation, however, is its criticality to only a region such that “a conjunction between the cultural and the political is difficult to achieve in late capitalist society” (Frampton, 1983). Such limitation becomes colossal in the contemporary Nigerian society where multi-ethnicity, religious diversity and apparent fragmentation characterizes its morphology. In her research, (Procnal-Ogunsote, 1993) specifically identifies Regionalism among Post-modern and International style, as “able to satisfy the desire for identity” recommending further research to improve them.

                                                                    1.2       Problem Statement

In Regional societies such as Pakistan, India and Nigeria, the search for a national archetype is a prevailing architectural problem, as in many third world countries, with Regionalism as a basis for exploration. This becomes obvious in studies like Habib (1985), Kenneth (1983) and William (1982). However, societal regions share a common geographical boundary and within which the peoples’ “aspect of live and prevalent modes of expression as well as climate and topography” (Habib, 1985) is relatively the same. This poses a particular problem among larger domains, in which the synthesis of a National archetype based on a single region is redundant, as when a region gets very large it loses its perceptual cohesiveness (Habib, 1985)  and “attempt to circumvent the dialectics of this creative process through the eclectic procedures of historicism can only result in consumerist iconography masquerading as culture” (Frampton, 1983).

The research problem is hence that of a phenomenon, one of fusing the predominant Nigerian Regional styles in an attempt to synthesize an archetype that offers identity on a national scale. It employs deconstructivism as a tool of contemporary relevance. Through this process, a generated archetype lies on the grid of culture and civilization. Adeyemi (2008) describes this phenomenon  as “a task for creative talents, because lesser talents run the risk of producing buildings which are pastiches of both modern and traditional forms.” While Eclecticism could displace certain cultural features as it interlaces with other styles, it does so, no more than evolution and civilization. The rationale for Deconstruction in the regional fusion is to regulate recombination of specific variables of identity, both in form and space, of each region, and proffer manipulation of same to generate an archetype devoid of “sterile stylistic cultural interpretation” (Sabir & Hasan-Uddin, n.d).

                                                                            1.3       Justification

Very little is yet known or explored on the design philosophy of Deconstructivism in Nigerian architecture. Some critics assume it has the same stance as early Modernism to victimize the vernacular, however the application of its concept have transformed sedentary architecture in developed countries with relevance to place, history and local context. Following the demand for a Modern Museum by the Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), expected to play a role in promoting national unity, the proposed Museum and its approach seek both to satisfy this need as well as harness our potential for contemporary and futuristic architecture. Hooper (1994) explained that understanding that there are critical moments being created in history that are becoming more challenging to communicate in a form of an exhibition, Architects, and professionals relevant to the field of Museum design, need to re-evaluate how to capture these services in a way that holds social interest and relevance to the public.

As narrated in Cho (n.d) “Radical changes made in the cultural and social domains of the world, lead to the evolving nature of predetermined theory, ideas and architectural building types. It is from these revolutionary shifts in history, that the museums require alternate means of representing those events of the past”. Hoteit (2015) explained that “architectural designs are similar to writings. By reading them, we can understand the structure of the society where they were built, its social relationships, and its overview of life and the outside world.” In more or less senses than one the establishment of the Western type of museum in most African countries as a place for spending leisure time has been possible only through the disruption and destruction of African peoples’ much more positive and quite ancient understanding of the museum as an institution (Bassey, 1997). The proposed Museum, a symbol of unity in diversity, following the principle of its design- Deconstructivism, will not only collect and exhibit our artefacts as well as preserve our historic values but will provide employment for some Nigerians among artists, historians, curators and technicians, trainers and other specialists both during its design and construction stages, and through its lifetime.

                                                                   1.4        Aim and Objectives

1.41     Aim

This research aims at synthesizing a national archetype for Nigeria through fusion of existing regional styles to obtain a singular archetype that satisfies national identity, while possessing contemporary relevance. It seeks to explore the intervening variables of Regionalism in Northern, South-Eastern and South-Western Nigerian architecture as a basis for the fusion.

1.42     Objectives

  • To identify the concept and boundaries of architectural regional expression especially in Museum design from literature reviews and case studies.
  • To deduce from checklist the consistent variables among existing models of Regional

Museum buildings in Nigeria as a basis for fusion.

  • To find architectural ways of fusing the established regional styles, and hence demonstrate research findings in the design of National Museum of Arts and history, Abuja.

                                                                   1.5       Research Questions

  • What are the negligible variables of Regionalism among the given areas which do not meet for national identity, hence redundant?
  • What attributes are typical and representative of the Northern, Eastern and Western Nigeria’s Regional style in space and form, which may provide a platform for fusion?
  • Which architectural concept best tackles Nigeria’s regional architectural fusion.

                                                                  1.6       Research Hypothesis

Nigeria’s Northern, Eastern and Western Regional architectural styles can be integrated through combination into a single architecture style based on their communal attributes.

                                                                                   1.7       Scope

The proposed facility is to be built in the North-Central Nigeria, Abuja. It will exhibit both pre-colonial and contemporary Nigerian Artefacts and History. The Museum will contain exhibitions spaces to showcase local works of arts both within its interior galleries as well as outdoors, administrative facility and ancillary units. The facility is proposed to host 50,000 people among Nigerians and foreigners annually. It will also contain spaces that offer ancillary functions suitable to public facilities.

                                                               1.8       Limitation of the study

This research is concerned with the exploration of Nigeria’s Regional styles and centres on its fusion, towards the synthesis of a suitable national archetype for public building scenario. The study limits its research scope to national museums; however, the research implication

is relevant to the generic context of public facilities.

A FUSION OF NIGERIA’S REGIONAL ARCHITECTURAL STYLES IN THE DESIGN OF PROPOSED NATIONAL ARTS AND HISTORY MUSEUM, ABUJA

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