The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Guest House. © Omoegun Demola, 2021.
Documenting the Reuse of Modern Buildings

An appraisal of a 2022 British Academy writing workshop of postgraduate students and researchers





Architectural styles, ECR, Modern buildings, University campuses, Writing workshop


This paper looks into the 2022 writing workshop sponsored by the British Academy with Nigerian and Ghanaian participants. It was focussed on the present status of modern buildings, which are quickly replaced by newer ones, eroding the prevailing vernacular of the landscape of African university campuses. A new approach was adopted to documenting the stories of these buildings, which had existed prior to the time, by Africans, not foreigners. Postgraduate students were co-opted to participate in a five-day writing workshop across three universities in Nigeria. The teams were headed by Early Career Researchers (ECRs) led by a Nigerian Co-Investigator (Co-I), similar to a workshop held in Ghana just a week before. The Principal Investigator (PI) was based in the United Kingdom and assisted by two co-investigators, one from Nigeria and one from Ghana. For the Nigerian contingent, the loci group comprised four participants per group (12 participants in each of the three universities in Lagos, Jos, and Enugu campus). At each university, the participants selected modern buildings on the campus to write about, guided by the ECRs. Scheduled meetings were arranged for expert presentations, site visits, and group meet-ups to discuss their working papers. Recommendations were made for architectural histories and criticisms to be introduced into the students’ curriculum, from which publications and documentation of these buildings can be carried out concurrently. Grants and awards can also be targeted at universities both locally and globally to further improve this approach. Emphasis on the cultural point of view was encouraged in the writing exercise to preserve the heritage aspects of the buildings.

How to Cite

Oginni, A., Akerele, O., Omoegun, A., & Uduma-Olugu, N. (2023). Documenting the Reuse of Modern Buildings: An appraisal of a 2022 British Academy writing workshop of postgraduate students and researchers. Docomomo Journal, (69), 99–105.





Workshops and Exhibitions


Author Biographies

Adeyemi Oginni, University of Lagos

Is an architect and research specialist in African educational architecture. She completed a PhD in 2018, a Master’s degree in 2009, and a BSc in 2006 at the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos. She has worked on Urban Revitalization projects in Lagos and worked as a consultant with Heinrich Boell Stiftung. She has both the NIA (Nigerian Institute of Architects) and ARCON (Architects Registration Council of Nigeria) membership of professional bodies and an IFRA (French Institute for Research in Africa) research fellowship. She has won and managed a TETFUND grant 2017/1018.

Oluwaseyi Akerele, University of Lagos

Is an architect and a lecturer at the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos. He completed a BArch in 2001, M.Sc (Media and Communications) in 2010, and is currently working on his PhD in Symbolism in Bank Architecture; Architectural Design Strategies of Selected Commercial Banks in Nigeria.

Ademola Omoegun, University of Lagos

Holds a PhD in Urban Planning and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning (specializing in planning in cities of the Global South) from Cardiff University and University of Manchester, respectively. This is in addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Lagos. He is a lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Lagos. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town in 2018 and is currently a research fellow with the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) at the University of Manchester.

Nnezi Uduma-Olugu, University of Lagos

Is the immediate past Head of the Department of Architecture and an Associate Professor at University of Lagos. A First Class Scholar of the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship, Fellow of the Society of Landscape Architecture of Nigeria, and Member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. An author of two landscape books, formerly the Vice President SLAN, she has published and attended conferences both locally and internationally. She is an artistic, friendly go-getter who readily takes on challenges and opportunities as they come. Her research interest is in Coastal Tourism, Urban Recreation, and Landscape Studies. She enjoys traveling, reading, and gospel music.