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A B S T R A C T Contemporary architecture has its roots from the vernacular. Every cultural group in the world has its own form of vernacular though the approach may vary from place to place and from people to people. Vernacular architecture has many values which are relevant to contemporary architecture today. This paper looks at vernacular architecture in Nigeria as practiced by two ethnic groups who have varying climatic, religious and socio-cultural practices. The approaches to architecture by these two groups, i.e. the Hausas and Igbos, are looked at with the intention of finding positive values in the vernacular which can be applied to the contemporary. One of such values as seen in this paper is the harmony of traditional building materials with nature. Local building materials are able to meet housing needs without having detrimental effect on the environment. More emphasis should therefore be given to local building materials in the building industry today. The paper concludes by stating that for contemporary architecture to adequately meet the needs of man today, vernacular values which apply to the cultural and climatic needs of such places should be selected and imbibed.

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A Lesson from Vernacular Architecture in Nigeria Ph.D. CandidateJoyce Lodson1,* Ph.D. CandidateJOHN EMMANUEL OGBEBA2, Dr. UGOCHUKWU KENECHI ELINWA3 1 Department of Architecture, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi state, Nigeria 2Department of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Mersin 10, Turkey 3Department of Architecture, Cyprus International University, Famagusta, Mersin 10, Turkey E mail:joycelodson@yahoo.com E mail: john.ogbeba@emu.edu.tr , E mail:uelinwa@ciu.edu.tr A B S T R A C T Contemporary architecture has its roots from the vernacular. Every cultural group in the world has its own form of vernacular though the approach may vary from place to place and from people to people. Vernacular architecture has many values which are relevant to contemporary architecture today. This paper looks at vernacular architecture in Nigeria as practiced by two ethnic groups who have varying climatic, religious and socio-cultural practices. The approaches to architecture by these two groups, i.e. the Hausas and Igbos, are looked at with the intention of finding positive values in the vernacular which can be applied to the contemporary. One of such values as seen in this paper is the harmony of traditional building materials with nature. Local building materials are able to meet housing needs without having detrimental effect on the environment. More emphasis should therefore be given to local building materials in the building industry today. The paper concludes by stating that for contemporary architecture to adequately meet the needs of man today, vernacular values which apply to the cultural and climatic needs of such places should be selected and imbibed. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2018) 2(1), 84-95. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3664 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved 1. Introduction The Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, (2000), describes vernacular architecture as “unpretentious, simple, indigenous, traditional structures made of local materials and following well-tried forms and types.”Man has always sought to provide shelter for himself through the use of local materials and techniques in ways best suited to meet his own individual, socio-cultural needs and also fit into the existing climatic conditions. Too often, vernacular architecture has been portrayed as something that is local, primitive, unattractive and unworthy of being preserved. This perception seeks to give the vernacular a reflection of negativism and underdevelopment. Yet despite this bleak portrayal of the vernacular, one only has to take a closer look at the way the traditional builders used local materials and techniques to display technological sophistication and ingenuity in their structures to develop a sense of respect and admiration for the vernacular. These local societies were able to bring a sense of communality and ethical representation into their buildings and settlements. In his book, ‘Vernacular Accommodations: Wordplay in Contemporary Architecture Theory,’ Andrews (2012) introduces the reader to a world of vernacular that reflects living traditions and ethical approaches tocreativity, a form of architecture that is original, reflects peasant lifestyles and shows an integration of the building in the life of the community as a whole whileaddressing local conditions of climate. This paper intends to search for such values of the vernacular in Nigerian traditional architecture with the aim of drawing lessons from it which can then be incorporated in Nigeria’s present contemporary architecture. Nigeria is a vast country with a rich diversity. This diversity is seen in various dimensions such as: ethnic group representations, climatic conditions, religious affiliations, cultural beliefs and practices and art forms. Because of the vastness of its diversity, approaches to architecture also vary. Different ethnic groups in Nigeria approach architecture in different ways in an attempt to address local conditions and needs. To better understand and appreciate vernacular architecture in Nigeria, this paper is considering architectural approaches of two ethnic groups under varying climatic conditions, religions and socio-cultural practices. The paper has a number of objectives. To review vernacular residential architecture in Nigeria as practiced by two cultural groups, i.e. the Hausas and the Igbos, so as to better appreciate their approaches to architecture. To determine the values that might have influenced their local architectures. The paper intends to compare vernacular and contemporary architecture in Nigeria, and to find positive values embedded in Nigerian vernacular architecture which might be appropriated in contemporary Nigerian architecture. 2. NigeriaThe Federal republic of Nigeria is located in West Africa and lies between latitudes 4° and 14ºN, and longitudes 2º and 15ºE. (Figs. 1&2) Figure 1. Map of Africa Showing Nigeria in Red. (Source: www.google.com) Figure 2. Map of Nigeria Showing 36 States and the FCT Abuja, Source: www.google.com With a current population of over 180,000 million people, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa. Of the over 250 ethnic groups in the country, the three largest are the Hausas, located in the northern part of the country, the Yorubas, in the south western part of the country and the Igbos, found in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. (Figure 3) Figure 3. Map of Nigeria Showing the Broad Distribution of Major Ethnic Groups6. Source: www.google.com British colonial rule began in Nigeria from the 19th century when the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the country were merged together to form a single entity called Nigeria. This was done in 1914 by the British. Nigeria eventually gained its Independence from the United Kingdom on 1st October 1960. Nigeria is a multi-religious country made up of two predominant religions, i.e. Christianity and Islam. The population is divided roughly in half between these two major religions. Basically, Nigeria’s climate can be classified into two. The northern part of the country, where the Hausas predominate, is characterized by hot, dry climate and extremes of temperature between day and night. Rainfall is minimal and often less than 500mm per year.

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A Lesson from Vernacular Architecture in Nigeria Ph.D. CandidateJoyce Lodson1,* Ph.D. CandidateJOHN EMMANUEL OGBEBA2, Dr. UGOCHUKWU KENECHI ELINWA3 1 Department of Architecture, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi state, Nigeria 2Department of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Mersin 10, Turkey 3Department of Architecture, Cyprus International University, Famagusta, Mersin 10, Turkey E mail:joycelodson@yahoo.com E mail: john.ogbeba@emu.edu.tr , E mail:uelinwa@ciu.edu.tr A B S T R A C T Contemporary architecture has its roots from the vernacular. Every cultural group in the world has its own form of vernacular though the approach may vary from place to place and from people to people. Vernacular architecture has many values which are relevant to contemporary architecture today. This paper looks at vernacular architecture in Nigeria as practiced by two ethnic groups who have varying climatic, religious and socio-cultural practices. The approaches to architecture by these two groups, i.e. the Hausas and Igbos, are looked at with the intention of finding positive values in the vernacular which can be applied to the contemporary. One of such values as seen in this paper is the harmony of traditional building materials with nature. Local building materials are able to meet housing needs without having detrimental effect on the environment. More emphasis should therefore be given to local building materials in the building industry today. The paper concludes by stating that for contemporary architecture to adequately meet the needs of man today, vernacular values which apply to the cultural and climatic needs of such places should be selected and imbibed. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2018) 2(1), 84-95. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3664 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved 1. Introduction The Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, (2000), describes vernacular architecture as “unpretentious, simple, indigenous, traditional structures made of local materials and following well-tried forms and types.”Man has always sought to provide shelter for himself through the use of local materials and techniques in ways best suited to meet his own individual, socio-cultural needs and also fit into the existing climatic conditions. Too often, vernacular architecture has been portrayed as something that is local, primitive, unattractive and unworthy of being preserved. This perception seeks to give the vernacular a reflection of negativism and underdevelopment. Yet despite this bleak portrayal of the vernacular, one only has to take a closer look at the way the traditional builders used local materials and techniques to display technological sophistication and ingenuity in their structures to develop a sense of respect and admiration for the vernacular. These local societies were able to bring a sense of communality and ethical representation into their buildings and settlements. In his book, ‘Vernacular Accommodations: Wordplay in Contemporary Architecture Theory,’ Andrews (2012) introduces the reader to a world of vernacular that reflects living traditions and ethical approaches tocreativity, a form of architecture that is original, reflects peasant lifestyles and shows an integration of the building in the life of the community as a whole whileaddressing local conditions of climate. This paper intends to search for such values of the vernacular in Nigerian traditional architecture with the aim of drawing lessons from it which can then be incorporated in Nigeria’s present contemporary architecture. Nigeria is a vast country with a rich diversity. This diversity is seen in various dimensions such as: ethnic group representations, climatic conditions, religious affiliations, cultural beliefs and practices and art forms. Because of the vastness of its diversity, approaches to architecture also vary. Different ethnic groups in Nigeria approach architecture in different ways in an attempt to address local conditions and needs. To better understand and appreciate vernacular architecture in Nigeria, this paper is considering architectural approaches of two ethnic groups under varying climatic conditions, religions and socio-cultural practices. The paper has a number of objectives. To review vernacular residential architecture in Nigeria as practiced by two cultural groups, i.e. the Hausas and the Igbos, so as to better appreciate their approaches to architecture. To determine the values that might have influenced their local architectures. The paper intends to compare vernacular and contemporary architecture in Nigeria, and to find positive values embedded in Nigerian vernacular architecture which might be appropriated in contemporary Nigerian architecture. 2. NigeriaThe Federal republic of Nigeria is located in West Africa and lies between latitudes 4° and 14ºN, and longitudes 2º and 15ºE. (Figs. 1&2) Figure 1. Map of Africa Showing Nigeria in Red. (Source: www.google.com) Figure 2. Map of Nigeria Showing 36 States and the FCT Abuja, Source: www.google.com With a current population of over 180,000 million people, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa. Of the over 250 ethnic groups in the country, the three largest are the Hausas, located in the northern part of the country, the Yorubas, in the south western part of the country and the Igbos, found in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. (Figure 3) Figure 3. Map of Nigeria Showing the Broad Distribution of Major Ethnic Groups6. Source: www.google.com British colonial rule began in Nigeria from the 19th century when the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the country were merged together to form a single entity called Nigeria. This was done in 1914 by the British. Nigeria eventually gained its Independence from the United Kingdom on 1st October 1960. Nigeria is a multi-religious country made up of two predominant religions, i.e. Christianity and Islam. The population is divided roughly in half between these two major religions. Basically, Nigeria’s climate can be classified into two. The northern part of the country, where the Hausas predominate, is characterized by hot, dry climate and extremes of temperature between day and night. Rainfall is minimal and often less than 500mm per year.

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
Girne American University

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This page is a summary of: A Lesson from Vernacular Architecture in Nigeria, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, October 2017, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.3664.
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