Belgian based BC Architects and Studies put forth a design proposal for the Research Centre for Nigerian Languages in Ilorin, Nigeria. Their design was inspired by old Nigerian palace typologies to create a calm and pure architecture with locally sourced materials and labor, similar in style to their proposal for the museum of natural architecture in Niger.
Here’s their description,
The concept, structure and appearance of the building are shaped by both awareness of the academic environment it will host and respect of local building traditions. The design combines local techniques with high-standards of comfort in order to create individual as well as public environments which provide rest, openness and privacy for all researchers and visitors.
The design of the RCNL has its roots in local conceptual elements such as the urban introvert medina, the typologies of the Yoruba palace and courtyard house and the sequence of different spatial atmospheres within a rational grid system. It therefore represents the local identity in a contemporary architectural language.
The multitude and complexity of the various languages and dialects found in Nigeria is reflected in the architecture of the centre. Multiple open spaces with different atmospheres connect the various offices, classrooms and meeting rooms. The rationality of the design interacts with the surrounding nature due to the contrast between its very rigid grid system and the organic growth of the gardens and landscape. In this way the RCNL works as a monastery; a quiet study place, closed from the outside, but very open within its walls. A building completely autonomous of its surrounding built environment in terms of water and electricity.
On their website you can find more information about the project, more pics of BC Architects’ prospection trip can be found on their Facebook page