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Buildings reflect people’s culture.
I’m talking of the cultural interior spaces.
Take for instance the Tea Room in a typical English man’s house.
Who does that in Nigeria? Afternoon Teatime?
The Tea here is not referring to your regular chocolate and milk drink with sliced bread.
I have been starring at this Tea room treatment wondering what I would be doing in it and of what use is the space to me. It seems similar to a dining room.
Traveling has its own education and if you are unable to do so, make friends with travellers.
They bring you updates on lifestyle (not gossip).
I remember the day I went to a building site; the client is a Nigerian in Diaspora.
He had experienced the lifestyle over there and wanted their kind of building on his plot.
READ ALSO: The Building Culture of Northern Nigeria.
First thing to note: No chimneys.
We are in the tropics.
Secondly, more privacy, which means fencing, lesser wall openings.
Thirdly, he was overjoyed with an element he saw in the pictures and videos of construction sent to him showing a sky-link.
In simple terms, it’s like flyover, connecting a part of the building to the other side on the first floor, internally.
I was bamboozled.
Like, how is that something to be joyful for?
I later heard that it’s a common residential design feature abroad and he was impressed that the Nigerian Architect who designed the building included that.
At home, we barely have enough land (or affordable building materials) to create the spaces we actually need before we add the boogie spaces, like foyer with a massive grand staircase, and handrails decorated in queen Anne style.
Don’t get me started with the “Great room”, what for?
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Our fathers enjoyed outdoor seating areas (otherwise known as obi). They liked elaborate balconies for entertaining their visitors.
We used to add garages in building designs. Now everyone prefers outdoor parking.
I follow an e-commerce design blog and I have seen a lot of their floor plans.
They don’t think like us, and we don’t think like them.
This building cultural difference has kinda been a source of discouragement to me in venturing into designing for foreign markets.
Plus having to study each country’s building code.
Perhaps, one day, I shall have their citizens in my staff registry and then it’s me and the world.
Yours in building design solutions.
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