Open House Returns with Second Edition, Begins April 29

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Mary Ekah

Following the success of the debut of Lagos biggest architectural weekend, British Council and Open House Lagos Board have announced the second edition of Open House Lagos this year, April 29 and April 30.

The first edition which took place in 2016 was the first of its kind in Africa. It recorded an outstanding success which was reflected by the extensive press coverage, over 1500 volunteer applications, positive feedback from the visitors and building owners as well as the number of buildings that signed on.  This year, with 30 buildings and 12 tours spread across two days, Open House Lagos presents an opportunity to see, explore and learn about Lagos’ architecture all for free, hence, presenting a platform for Lagos citizens and tourists to find out more about issues that are relevant to their local area – from the design of homes to the impact of climate change, and the role of architects and contemporary design in revitalizing a city.

Speaking recently in Lagos, the Director Arts, British Council Nigeria, Ojoma Ochai, the maiden edition of the festival was well received across demographics, by the media and people who are less knowledgeable about architectural designs and the built environment in general. “For us, this was an indication of a growing interest in this field and an inspiration to ensure a repeat of this festival and ultimately, its sustainability,” Ochai said.

She noted further that the continuation of the festival has been fuelled by the passion and drive of the Open House Advisory Board, the Open House team as well as the generous partners and collaborators and the willingness of the building owners to grant access to their buildings.

Open House Lagos tells the story of progressive growth of architecture in Lagos, exploring the diverse historical buildings protected for years while unravelling contemporary designs.

Highlights of the event include: several fringe activities that create a nexus between the festival and the city’s creativity, access to some of the newest, most innovative constructions in West Africa and many homes of modern and classical architectural distinction, themed bus tours led by well-informed, trained tour guides and festival memorabilia including the limited edition festival guide.

Open House Lagos is part of the Open House Worldwide family brand which was created in 2010, connecting a community of over 30 cities who organise annual events with the same model, and an audience of over 1 million people who participate in Open House events across the globe. The concept’s success is due to its acting as an exemplary model of engagement with a city’s citizen, and a step towards bridging the gap between experts and users.