Exploring The Nexus of Arts and Architecture

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Ahead of the maiden edition of ‘Fusion of Real Estate, Interior Design and Art’ by Luxury Villas Group (LVG), Ferdinand Ekechukwu writes about the benefits inherent in real estate, interior design and art industries in Africa

Tommy Odama, the CEO of Luxury Villas Group (LVG) tells you that the fusion of architecture, interior design and art has always produced beautiful pieces of real estate. An expert in the field, he posits that art will always be an integral part of any luxury residence.
In his view, artistic architecture dates back to the first three millennia BCE in Egypt. The artistic achievement in architecture aimed at the preservation of conventions which reflected the perceived perfection of the world as well as to accurately portray the relationship between humans and the king as well as the gods.

In modern times, though, he said, architecture and real estate have seen a major shift from a reflection of world order to more commercial purposes. “This however, has not changed the fact that art is still an integral part of real estate”, he claims. “In modern day real estate developments, what stands out a building is most likely the intrinsic design and ingenuity put into its architectural design.”

Beyond that, Odama asserts that many developers have gone ahead to weave in representational and abstract art into building projects as is mostly common in cities like Dubai, Miami and other high-end luxury lifestyle cities.
Speaking further on the nexus between art and architecture, the real estate consultant said places like the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome have not only stood the test of time but continue to draw thousands of tourists each year who come to admire its beauty and ingenuity. “Masterpieces like this were only achieved through a perfect synergy of architecture, art and interior design.

“This beautiful relationship is properly understood by experts within the field. Defining this simply, this relationship can simply be understood as the architecture forming the external façade of the building, the interior design which involves the furniture and arrangement within the house and art which complements the design within the home”, he explained.

Art though extends beyond just portraits hanging on the walls but extends to sculptures and can also be an intricate part of the building itself. Buildings like the St. Peter’s Basilica earlier mentioned are the works of master artists. The art is a part of the building and an extension of the building at the same time.

Another case in point, Odama noted, is seen in the Burj al’arab in Dubai, shaped like a yacht and standing at a whopping 321 meters despite the fact that 39% of it is made up of non-occupiable space. It is the fourth-tallest hotel in the world, it stands as a true testament to the art in architecture.

By Odama’s estimation, as the Nigerian economy gradually emerges from the conundrum of a recessive economy, the property market has continued to thrive and explore meaningful ways to extend the active participation of related industries in its growth and progress. The result is the steady increase in real estate investments that pave the way for more business opportunities and benefits to the consumers.
While we are yet to see a structure like the St. Peter’s Basilica, or the Burj al’arab masterpiece in Nigeria, we may not be so far off and we are certainly looking into ways of building sustainably.

To this end, the Fusion of Real Estate, Interior Design and Art (FREIA) event holding on the 8th of December 2017 aims to explore the benefits inherent in the real estate, interior design and art industries in the African luxury property market with the goal of improving on the status quo while strategically aligning connected industries.
Billed to hold at the Grand Ballroom of the Civic Center in Victoria Island, Lagos, the event had culled together some of the biggest names in these industries as speakers and panelists. Speakers for the event were strategically selected to optimize the essence of a one of a kind Afrocentric event that would create a platform to explore the synergy within the real estate, interior design and art industries.

Some of these include, Jumoke Adenowo of AD Consulting; Andrea Geday of El-Alan Construction, Sandra Mbanefo-Obigo; Curator, SMO Contemporary Art, Titi Ogufere; CEO of Essential Interiors, Udo Okonjo; CEO, Fine and Country West Africa, Azu Nwagbogu; Director of African Artists Foundation Agatha Eric-Udorie who will serve as panelists at the conference.

The panel will be moderated by visionary architect, Mosun Ogunbanjo. The keynote address will be delivered by former Managing Director of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Mustafa Chike Obi.
With some of the country’s most brilliant minds in one room, it is expected that FREIA will spark up conversations that can revolutionize the real estate industry. There will be a carefully curated art exhibition which will be directed by notable artist and publisher, Oliver Enwonwu of Omenka Gallery and Omenka magazine.

The art exhibition, the organizers revealed, will feature masterful pieces from some of Nigeria’s greatest artists like Ben Enwonwu, Tola Wewe, Ben Osaghe, Kolade Oshinowo, Olu Ajayi, Uche Edochie among several other notable artists. With an anticipated footfall of over 2,000 people; comprising high net-worth brands and investors; FREIA is expected to provide a platform for active collaborations and networking that would significantly impact Real Estate in Nigeria.

FREIA Is the brain child of award-winning real estate company, Luxury Villas Group (LVG), a multi-service real estate and property services group based in Lagos Nigeria. Odama stated that his experience in the real estate industry spanning over 10 years showed him the importance of interior design and art in relation to real estate and fully appreciate their role in creating real estate masterpieces hence the need for an event like FREIA.

Designed to be an annual event, FREIA 2017 has been given the theme “NEXT FRONTIERS: Building Tomorrow’s Masterpieces”. This theme will drive conversations around how stakeholders can collaborate and produce masterful designs that can compete with the best in the world.

Speaking on the theme choice, Odama, during a press conference with news men in Lagos spoke about the growing need for luxury real estate in Africa and stated that we can no longer afford to be mediocre. “So, FREIA 2017 will champion conversations on how we can build truly masterful pieces by fusing all three, bearing in mind that every structure is a legacy”, he said. “We want to discuss real estate of the future not just the present.”

FREIA will be a one day three-part event beginning with the art and interior exhibition in the morning, It will then move on to the conference and will wrap up with a colorful cocktail reception in the evening which will also serve as the launch of Villas and Leisure, a Luxury Real Estate and Lifestyle Magazine by Luxury Villas Group.
The magazine is designed to showcase the best of architecture, real estate, interior design and art. It will feature Nigeria’s most affluent people and households and will give up-to-date information on global trends within the real estate industry.

Odama added, “We are very excited about the launch of Villas and Leisure Magazine. The magazine will serve as an authoritative source of both local and global real estate news to aid property management service providers and shoppers in making informed decisions.” He also added: “it is of the highest standard in terms of content and production quality and will be a must have for active real estate and lifestyle enthusiasts. It has been carefully put together by a team of the best professionals and is the product of meaningful collaborations.”
FREIA will have in attendance architects, real estate investors and consultants, interior design, artists, curators, HNIs, investors and key stakeholders. They will converge on a relaxed atmosphere among other experts to discuss pertinent issues relating to the industries, network and create meaningful business relationships.