British Council hosted Lagos to the first Open House event in Africa last weekend in conjunction with Open House Worldwide and Sterling Bank.
It was an unforgettable experience for arts and architecture aficionados, tourists, students, and residents of Lagos who experienced over 30 unique buildings that opened their doors to the public as part of the showcase that took place in 34 other cities around the world.
The festival opened with a symposium on Friday, April 29th 2016 with the theme: “Lagos, The Good, the Bad and the Excellent”. It was moderated by Olamide Udoma – Ejorh and panelists included architects Tosin Oshinowo, James George, and Chuka Ihonor. The talk was followed by a lively discussion of the theme by the audience of celebrated architects, interior designers, urban planners and critics.
Immediately after the talk, the festival opening party began, where guests were treated to tasty canapes and exotic cocktails while enjoying performances from King’s Men, Maka and Tope Ukaegbu and the ever energetic Yinka Davies.
The tour began on Saturday, April 30th – Sunday, May 1st 2016. It not only provided a platform for individuals to visit and explore buildings they would normally not have access to, it also provided networking and bonding opportunities for people with common interests and hobbies.
Some of the buildings in the festival included Nigerian Railway Compound, British Council, Sterling Towers, Bogobiri House, Alara Store, Plot G9, Banana Island, Radisson Blue Hotel, Malaika Mews, Maison Fahrenheit, Freedom Park, Nestoil Tower, GTBank, UNILAG Alumni Building, Bayo Kuku, German Consulate,Holy Cross Cathedral, St George’s Hall, Central Mosque, The Rock Cathedral, Churchgate Towers, and Heritage Place.
The festival came to a close at Freedom Park with a delightful stage play performance of “Love at War”, as part of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives Project. The play is a Nigerian adaptation of “Two Noble Kinsmen” directed by Segun Adefila and Jan-Willem Van Den Bosch.
Reflecting on the weekend, Director of Arts, Ojoma Ochai said, “it is so easy to take a city like Lagos for granted, but a festival like this allows us to stop and just wander round and really look at the buildings in which the people of this wonderful city live, work and play”
Open House Lagos is part of British Council’s UK/Nigeria 2015–16 which is a major season of arts work in Nigeria aimed at building new audiences, creating new collaborations and strengthening relationships between both countries.
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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, 360 Nobs, Guardian Arts and Pulse NG.
BellaNaija is a Media Partner for British Council’s Open House Lagos.