Design Union Wins Two International Property Awards

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Leading design and property development group, Design Union Limited could not have wished for a better gift to commemorate its 20th Anniversary as it wins two prestigious international awards for the design of its Royal Residences (Eden Heights)Tower and Aihie Villa, VGC, at the 2020/21 Africa-Asia Property Awards. The Award is given by International Property Media Ltd, publishers of International Property & Travel Magazine. The firm’s entry, Aihie Villa won the Single Residence category in Africa while Royal Residences (Eden Heights) won the Multiple Residence Category in Africa.

In a mail dated September 8th 2020, the Chairman of International Property Awards conveyed the award message to Design Union and congratulated the firm for achieving the enviable feat. Design Union has won several awards in the past including one for Sahara Energy’s Capital Centrum Building located in Abuja that won the same Award in 2011 For Commercial Office Architecture in Africa.

The award-winning building, Royal Residences (Eden Heights) is a multi-residential edifice capable of meeting the needs of the city’s top executives and expatriates while offering luxury in an urban apartment setting. The residences comprise 1, 2, 3&4- Bedroom apartments as well as 5 & 6 Bedroom Penthouses with facilities for leisure, wellness and health in support of the residents’ lifestyle.

The tower is an elegant 17-floor high rise that sits at the heart of Lagos’ highbrow cosmopolitan business district of Victoria Island Lagos. It is a new modernist addition to the Victoria Island skyline. The building is situated on a land area of approximately 3,000 square metres along Elsie Femi Pearse Street, off Adeola Odeku Road. The ground floor occupies approximately 80 percent of the site area and integrates the parking and service areas and main reception which welcomes residents and guests. The first floor accommodates additional parking, staff support areas as well as additional service areas. A posh pool side restaurant, an overflow swimming pool, well equipped gym, and contemporary health and beauty spa themed with African traditional elements as well as Capital Club (a members-only International business club) are lifestyle amenities located on the second floor.

An interesting space worth experiencing, Ehima Cave Spa is laid out to mimic cave-like settings carved out of real rocks. The use of stamped concrete stone patterned for the floor and vanity top compliment the rustic look.

The building is oriented with its lounge and lying east-west which was greatly influenced by the shape of the site and position of the road.

The open plan living/dining area features floor-to-floor ceiling windows that offer spectacular views of the city. The use of a modern palette of calm tones for finely selected wall and floor finish gives a timeless contemporary look to the bedroom.

The flat walls provide a perfect backdrop for eye catching art pieces that add depth to the space. Street view of the building shows curved building surfaces with defined horizontal window elements. The building is cladded with a shimmering glass mosaic that gives markedly different texture and color, depending on time of day and direction of the sun.

The apartments start from the third floor with 1&2 bedrooms, they continue on to the Sixth floor all the way to the 11th floor housing the 3 &4 bedroom apartments. The twelfth to the Sixteenth floors accommodate the Penthouses.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Design Union, Anthony Aihie, the concept for Aihie Villa (another award winning property) was inspired by traditional Nigerian architecture. The typical traditional home is characterized by a courtyard which is the central hub of the home where most activities and interactions take place. All other functional spaces are designed around the courtyard and accessed from it.

The Aihie Villa is a single family Residence for a modern working Nigerian family. Both matriarch and patriarch live an active lifestyle and entertain at home quite frequently. The Villa is therefore a modern expression of the traditional living arrangement. The layout has the public area acting as a nucleus where all other living spaces radiate from. The sleeping, eating and guest areas are arranged around the courtyard which serves as the family living area.

Aihie Villa is located in Victoria Garden City which is a gated community in the Ajah area of Lagos State. The front facade of the building reflects the contemporary vibe of the home with its geometric forms and the positioning of different sizes of windows. The warm color scheme with its natural elements and textures harmonises the building with its natural surrounding giving it a picturesque appeal.

The elegant finishes comprise external porcelain floor tiles, a combination of stone and concrete plastered wall with weather shield earth color paint palette, impressionable double height hard wood doors topped with Aluminum and wood framed roofing. It further includes aluminum framed glazing, stainless steel external handrails, and several steel and wood finish interior details. The stair structure is a tactile composition of floating stair threads, steel stinger and wooden top rails.

These two distinguished residential projects are masterful executions of modern architectural theory we should be proud of. I am delighted they have received international recognition which is, in my opinion, richly deserved.