Other Modernisms: Recording Diversity and Communicating History in Urban West Africa


  • Ola Uduku Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA)





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Seminal publications on West African Architecture such as Kulterman’s New Architecture in Africa and the Architectural Review’s New Commonwealth Architecture came to define the African Modern Movement as it was understood internationally. This paper explores the specific context within which this new architecture developed and the actors that helped to shape it. Vaughan–Richards’ Ola–Oluwakitan House and Cubitt’s Elder Dempster Offices are analyzed in terms of their engagement with the socio-cultural context in which they were conceived, the site-specific Modernity of the former contrasting the corporate International Style response of the latter.

How to Cite

Uduku, O. (2013). Other Modernisms: Recording Diversity and Communicating History in Urban West Africa. Docomomo Journal, (48), 62–69. https://doi.org/10.52200/48.A.8ZFOUFGC




Author Biography

Ola Uduku, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA)

Reader in Architecture at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). She holds a British Academy Small Grant for the Alan Vaughan–Richards Archive Project to set up a digital and physical archive on Modern West African Architecture. A member of docomomo, she is also a member of ArchiAfrika, a non–profit organization dedicated to linking architectural research and teaching networks in Africa with Europe and further afield. She will be the Academic Host for the 2013 ‘African Perspectives in Architecture’ conference in Lagos in December.


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