Architects Want More High-Rise Buildings In Lagos

Architects have said that for the city of Lagos to undergo a rapid and dynamic transformation, there is a need to rethink real estate development in the state through investment in high density high-rise buildings.

Those who spoke at the recently concluded Lagos Architects’ Forum, organised by the state chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, stated that the development would help in the management of land as well as reduce the activities of quacks who take advantage of the scarce resource and endanger citizens’ lives. The forum had as its theme: ‘Evolving architecture’.

The Chairman, Lagos Chapter, NIA, Mr. Ladipo Lewis, said that the economic activities generated by the state could be harnessed to create better buildings and reverse the losses from the development of substandard structures.

“We need to create parameters for high density vertical buildings and establish safety factors for their development,” he said.

The President, NIA, Mr. Tonye Braide, stated that indigenous architects had to reengineer their approach to the practice of architecture to be in line with the new wave sweeping across the world.

He said, “There are changes everywhere from the conception of urban space to the treatment of interior details. There are new technologies, which improve environmental comfort and conserve energy. There are materials, which greatly improve cost with very low maintenance indices. The living experience has moved from the milestones of our grandfathers to the cyber age of our toddlers.

“We have no option but to institute change and catch up with the world before the world leaves us far behind. We have to act and act fast. Standing still is totally unacceptable. We cannot be acclaimed leaders of the building industry and remain totally out of tune with the modern conception of design.

“The demand for architects in the coming years will be enormous. Beyond this will be the demand for specialisations, which will provide a quality assurance programme, better buildings and better cities.”

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr. Bayo Dipe, said that in line with the state’s policy on wealth creation, the government planned to work with all the relevant building professionals to improve the construction industry.

According to him, the professionals will particularly be fully involved in the construction of the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge.

The governor also said that the state was working closely with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria to ensure that the submission and supervision of all architectural works in the state were carried out by only registered members of the institute.

The President, ARCON, Alhaji Umaru Aliyu, said the construction industry remained the most bastardised sector and urged government at all levels to revamp the sector.

“The problem within the sector has become even more devastating with the economic downturn; but when an architect is engaged, the economy is inadvertently regenerated. The major strategy is to fall back on construction and the economy will be revamped,” he said.

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, who was the keynote speaker at the forum, said architects needed to rethink their profession.

“Architects should provide complete building solutions not just drawings; architecture is much more than designing,” he said.

Agbakoba urged the Lagos State Government to appoint an architect from the public sector to oversee construction processes in the state.


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