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Introduction

My name is Olusegun Ibitoye. I am the lead architect at Design Catalogue Ltd ‘DC’. I am based in Lagos, Nigeria. My passion for architecture was ignited during my formative years. As a young child, I was captivated by the world of architecture, thanks to the influence of my father. My architectural design style has evolved over the years, embracing contemporary and modern designs with a penchant for simplicity and bold aesthetics. This transformation reflects growth and maturity in my approach, where creating aesthetic appeal with the fewest elements has become a hallmark of my works. Today, I'm a witness to part of the architectural evolution of Lagos, a city that has undergone remarkable changes from the colonial era to the present. My journey is a reflection of the city's dynamic architectural landscape, influenced by culture, technology, and a growing commitment to sustainability. In the following pages, I will delve deeper into Lagos and the architectural evolution, my architectural journey, my current projects, my influences, style, and my role as a witness, a young and emerging partaker in shaping the architectural identity of Lagos over the past decade. .

Section 1: My Journey

In the world of architecture, inspiration often finds its roots in the most unexpected places, and for me, it was an early childhood experience that sowed the seeds of this journey. From a tender age, I was exposed to the world of design and construction, thanks to my father, who was in the process of building our family home outside Lagos. Back then, walking along the lobby of an architect's office, my father’s architect. I stared at the open offices flanking the corridor, a place filled with captivating blueprints and the delicate artistry of crafted woodwork. It was here, amidst the piles of hand-drawn building layouts and a mystical creativity, that my fascination with architecture took root. This experience and pockets of conversations with my father, bonding over architectural possibilities, led me to declare my aspiration early on: "I want to be an architect when I grow up." My grade 6 teacher had an ear full of this declaration. After completing my first degree and master's program at Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Lagos respectively, I embarked on this professional journey, choosing to work with a budding architectural firm. This decision allowed me to grow alongside the company, while honing my skills. Among other projects, I was involved with some notable projects like 'the Citadel' church in Ikeja Lagos, 'Smile 360 Orthodontics Clinic' in Ikoyi Lagos, and the 'Lead Capital Headquarters' in Victoria Island, Lagos. These early experiences not only tested my architectural acumen but also instilled in me the resilience and creativity needed to thrive in the competitive world of architecture. There were challenges, but as they say, there is no triumph without trials.

Section 2: My Architectural Style

My architectural journey through Lagos has been marked by a remarkable evolution in my design philosophy. While I have always gravitated towards contemporary and modern architectural styles, my style has undergone a transformation that reflects both personal growth and changing design trends, with tendencies of tropical and historical infusions, biomimicry, sustainability, and accessibility, to name a few. These factors have brought more discipline into the outcome of my work. My amazing team in ‘DC’ and I have produced some fine luxury residential homes, top-notch hospitality, and commercial designs in the urban parts of Nigeria. Dubbed as an emerging architectural firm to look out for, DC’s comfort zone is firmly rooted in contemporary and modern aesthetics, where architectural forms could range from minimalist simplicity to elaborate intricacy. However, as years passed and experience accumulated, I personally discovered a growing affinity for simple but bold design statements. Intriguingly, this shift towards Simplicity doesn't denote a reduction in creativity but rather a deepening of it. I realized my design workflow has become exercises in restraint, focusing on achieving maximum aesthetic impact with the minimal use of architectural elements. Every line, every curve, and every detail in my designs now serves a deliberate purpose. This journey towards minimalism has brought about a newfound confidence in DC's works. Looking through our catalog, the ability to create architectural beauty with fewer strokes of the pencil speaks to a matured understanding of space, form, and function against the background of architectural first principles. This is a testament to our growth as an emerging architectural practice, where the artistry lies not in extravagance but in the exquisite balance of simplicity and sophistication.

Shoreline Residences,ikoyi

The Agricultural and Technological Innovation Centre, Ekiti

Section 3: The Evolution

Lagos, Nigeria, a city with a rich historical tapestry, has undergone a fascinating architectural transformation over the past century. From the colonial era to the vibrant present day, the cityscape of Lagos has been a canvas that has absorbed influences, cultures, and technologies, mirroring the evolution of society itself. At the turn of the 20th century, Lagos was a British colony, and its architectural landscape bore the unmistakable marks of colonialism. Elegant colonial-era buildings like the former Supreme Court of Nigeria in Igbosere Lagos, The Jaekel house in Ebute-Meta, and the ornate facades and arches of structures like the Cathedral Church of Christ. The mid-20th century brought about a significant shift as Nigeria gained independence in 1960, with this came a surge in architectural innovation. The 1960s and 70s witnessed the rise of modernist architecture, marked by functional design and the use of concrete and glass. The National Arts Theatre, an iconic modernist structure in Lagos, exemplifies this era's architectural style.

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos

The National Arts Theatre,Iganmu, Lagos.

The late 20th century brought about the need for affordable housing, which led to the proliferation of apartment blocks and gated communities. Meanwhile, the city's skyline began to change, with the emergence of high-rise buildings, such as the Union Bank Building and First Bank Building, Marina. In the 21st century, Lagos has continued to evolve architecturally, responding to the demands of a burgeoning population and a globalized world. Sustainable architecture and green design principles have gained prominence, addressing issues of environmental sustainability and climate resilience. Innovative projects like the Lekki Conservation Centre showcase a commitment to preserving Lagos' natural beauty amidst urban expansion. In witnessing Lagos' architectural transformation, one cannot help but recognize the city's resilience and adaptability. It is a living testament to the dynamic interplay between history, culture, and innovation, where architectural styles have adapted to reflect the changing needs and aspirations of its people.

The Jaekel House, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.

The Union Bank Building, Marina, Lagos.

First Bank Building, Marina, Lagos

The Lekki Conservation Centre, Lekki, Lagos.

In the urbanized areas, young and prominent architects have been at the forefront of redefining residential living. Strikingly contemporary designs, often characterized by clean lines and the integration of sustainable elements, are reshaping the urban fabric. Prominent projects like "No 4 Bourdillon" in Lagos and the "World Trade Centre" in Abuja exemplify this new wave of residential developments.

Section 4: My Works

My firm, Design Catalogue Ltd, amongst other reputable architecture firms, has risen to be a formidable architectural firm churning out luxury residential designs in high-brow areas of our urban cities. But the firm's prowess proves itself not just with exquisite residential designs but also with elegant and timeless commercial, hospitality, and institutional designs. Some of which are the Caritas Grand Hotel to be located in Ikeja, Avant Garde place in Ikate Lagos, the proposed Agricultural and Technological Innovation Centre Ekiti State, HSE gourmet Lekki Lagos, Atmosphere Rooftop Restaurant, High Court of Lagos (the former Supreme Court of Nigeria) located in the heart of Lagos. In the bustling heart of Lagos, amidst the vibrant urban landscape, myself and the Design Catalogue team partnered with Onestream Consultants Ltd and Sage Ltd. Together we are embarking on a transformative architectural endeavor that bridges the gap between eras - the Lagos State High Court Project. This ambitious undertaking not only underscores our architectural prowess but also embodies our commitment to preserving history while propelling the city into the future. The Lagos State High Court Project is a distinctive blend of tradition and modernity. At its core lies the restoration of the colonial-style section of the courthouse, a piece of Lagos' architectural heritage that whispers of a bygone era. The team's meticulous attention to detail and historical reverence will breathe new life into this section, ensuring that its grandeur stands as a testament to the city's rich past. But this project is not just about preservation; it's a visionary leap into the 21st century. The addition of an 11-floor modern multi-story building, seamlessly integrated with the colonial section, reflects the city's ever-expanding needs. This contemporary bit will house an impressive total of 34 courtrooms, a testament to Lagos' growing legal demands.What sets this project apart is the way it unifies the two contrasting architectural styles. The colonial and modern buildings, while distinct in their aesthetics, find common ground in architectural principles like repetition and balance. The graceful asymmetric colonial facades find a harmonious counterpoint in the sleek lines and minimalist elegance of the modern tower. The result is a visual dialogue between the past and the present, where the two eras complement and enhance each other. This fusion of styles is more than just an architectural choice; it's a reflection of Lagos itself.

Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, Lagos.

Caritas Grand Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Night View of The Caritas Grand Hotel.

Conclusion

In the grand symphony of architectural innovation, my journey as an architect in Lagos is a melody that continues to evolve, promising harmonious chapters yet to be composed. As I stand at the crossroads of history and the future, the words of Frank Lloyd Wright reverberate in my mind: "Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age." Looking ahead, I am fueled by an unbridled enthusiasm to shape the ever-evolving architectural landscape of Lagos. With gratitude for the past and a passion for the future, crafting the narrative of Lagos' architectural evolution—one innovative project at a time. The best, I believe, is yet to come.

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