Our Experience at Open House Lagos 2017 Organised by the British Council

This year’s Open House Lagos, organised by the British Council in partnership with Open House Worldwide and Sterling Bank, took place over the workers day weekend, and of the 30 buildings exhibited, we were able to make it to 3 very interesting ones.

From luxury retail at Alara to multi family residences of the Miramar Towers and a large family villa in Osborne, Ikoyi, we had very enjoyable (slightly stressful) experience learning about the different structures, the thought process behind the design and the intent and story behind their actualization. Hopefully we’ll be more involved in next year’s Open House Lagos. Heres a look at the 3 buildings we experienced.


Designed by internationally renowned, Ghanian British Architect, Sir David Adjaye, Alara (which we’ve featured previously on the site) Alara is a luxury lifestyle brand dedicated to contemporary art, design, fashion, cuisine and culture. The building is a nine metre high rectangular volume, containing a series of suspended platforms, staircases and landings that ascend the space, displaying various objects. The building also features a roof top terrace as well as an African restaurant at the rear. Much of the furniture we saw were sourced from within the continent and some from African designers. Most prominent was work from Ousmane M’Baye, a designer based in Senegal. Some notable one’s include Bibi Seck’s Bayokou and Nopolou as well as some pieces from Tord Boontje’s Shadowy Collection. Alara offers a rich and enlightening experience that really has no parallels.


The Miramar Towers is a newly refurbished premium residential development on 1 Cooper road (Now Femi Okunnu Street), Ikoyi, Lagos. It comprises about 18 units of 3 Bedroom apartments and a 3 Bedroom penthouse spanning acroos 10 floors. The apartments were very spacious with high doors, and so much storage space. Each apartment had a laundry that doubled as a sort of breeze way as well as 2 rooms for servants quarters.

Though we couldn’t go all the way to the pent floor, we’re told the building offers great views of surrounding Ikoyi. The development also features 24 hour power and security, ample parking, 2 swimming pools and a communal gym.


Our last stop for the day was a beautiful contemporary family villa in Osborne, Ikoyi. Designed by Bravura Architects, the Adele-Adewole Villa features an “organic spine circulation layout that allows the interplay between the external and internal spaces to be continuously celebrated”. The spine wall clad with stone’s from Abeokuta, is a prominent feature through the interior and exterior of the villa.

We got a chance to meet with the home owner who mentioned that the inspiration behind the design as “Moroccan/Mediterranean”. Being a private home, we weren’t permitted to take images of the interior, but I can tell you its impressive. Natural light and cross ventilation flood virtually all the spaces, with an indoor-outdoor flow that is atypical of the average Nigerian home. (Very Secure) glass sliding walls flank the interior ground floor spaces allowing the outside flow in, whether from the first or second living room onto a hardscaped verandah or from the dining room onto a lush lawn or maybe from the TV room to the swimming pool area, there’s a freedom of flow that still maintains security and privacy while allowing flexibility. This is most helpful as the amiable home owner is part of a large extended family and often hosts family events and parties.

The villa features a home cinema, study rooms, about 4-5 bedrooms, a vanity kitchen as well as a more traditional kitchen, a gym, roof top terrace and an attention to detail that is rarely seen in these parts. Its so well planned, with services and utilities well concealed leaving an enviably pristine home.

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