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Alan Vaughan-Richards

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{{COI|date=January 2019}}{{Notability|date=January 2019}}{{db|Author appears COI and even stated this article should be submitted for SPEEDY which leads me to believe he or she will use a puppet account to validate this article and remove SPEEDY.}}

Alan Vaughan-Richards (1925 - 1989) was a British-Nigerian architect who was active in the post-colonial architecture industry of Nigeria. He engaged architects on the potential influence of African forms in architectural design through publication of the journal West Africa Builder and Architect. Vaughan-Richards incorporated the works of Nigerian artist in many of his projects. Trained in modern architecture in England, he then studied cultural uses of architecture in Nigeria, and many of his commissions were hybrids of both influences .[1]

Life[edit | edit source]

Vaughan-Richards was educated at London Polytechnic where he obtained a diploma in architecture in 1950, he also enrolled for a newly create course on Tropical Architecture[2] at Architecture Association, London in 1956.[3]

Vaughan-Richards began his career in the 1950s working for Architect Co-Partnership in London, the firm was engaged in the design of a newly reconstructed Bristol Hotel and housing for oil and gas companies in Lagos. In the course of the project, Vaughan-Richards was involved in preliminary design and as a site supervisor visited Nigeria during tours of the projects.[1] When Architect Co-Partnership pulled out of Nigeria, Vaughan-Richards stayed in the country. His house in Ikoyi close to the Lagos lagoon and which was influenced by forms in Hausa village and designed in a modern style was used as his office. Many of his commissions included private houses and a staff housing facility for University of Lagos. He gained recognition among his private clients with his designs of generous shared or public spaces and broad corridors in his commissions.[1]

American novelist Elaine Neil Orr described Vaughan-Richards' architectural style, writing that he "consistently applied curvilinear geometries in his designs, sometimes as adornment but often as integral elements of walls and rooms. Modular designs were his staple, initially from blocks and roof sheeting, and then from timber framing".[4]

Vaughan-Richards co-founded and edited the West African Builder and Architect to provide information about architecture in Africa and later co-wrote Building Lagos with Kunle Akinsemoyin, a book documenting the development of Lagos.[1]

Vaughan-Richards merged with Felix Ibru's Roye Ibru and Co, his commissions included Jaja Hall, University of Lagos, University of Lagos master plan and modern design with tropical and West African forms such as Olaoluwakitan House and Alan Vaughan-Richards house.[5] Many of his works were neglected or poorly maintained.[1] He married Ayo-Vaughan-Richards (nee Vaughan) daughter of an hotelier from the James Churchwill Vaughan family of Lagos.[6]

In the 1980s, he was involved in writing an inventory of Brazilian houses in Lagos for use by a preservation movement.[7]

Experimental projects[edit | edit source]

In the 1950s, new construction projects designed from adopted modern European architectural forms with consideration for Nigerian climate and which was led by Maxwell Fry and London trained Nigerian architects began to emerge as the dominant style in Lagos. [5][2] Vaughan-Richards was among the modernist architect, but he wanted more exploration with the adoption of existing African forms, African art and use of materials such as timber.[2] He was an advocate of incorporating African cultural forms and lifestyles in modern Nigerian architecture,[8] a departure of the orthodox styles emerging in the 1950s that largely incorporated adaptation to the climatic conditions in Africa.[9] His personal house built in the 1960s was an experimentation of traditional West African architectural forms with modern architecture principles such as the use of curvi-linear and circular geometries.[10] Other projects such as the Ola-oluwakitan House stood out for the consideration given to African forms [5] and originality, and later served as a model for other private houses.[11]

Works[edit | edit source]

  • "Le Nigeria" in Rives coloniales : architectures, de Saint-Louis à Douala. 1993. ISBN: 2863640569.
  • Editor. ''West African Builder and Architect. Journal. 1963 - 1967.
  • Co-author. Building Lagos. 1977. Pengrail Ltd

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Roux, Hannah Le (2004). "Modern Architecture in Post-Colonial Ghana and Nigeria". Architectural History. 47: 361–392. doi:10.1017/S0066622X00001805. ISSN 2059-5670.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Daniel Immerwahr (2007) The politics of architecture and urbanism in postcolonial Lagos, 1960–1986,Journal of African Cultural Studies, 19:2, 165-186, DOI: 10.1080/13696810701760450
  3. "Vaughan-Richards, Alan (1925 - 1989), architect : Grove Art Online - oi". oxfordindex.oup.com. doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.t088304. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  4. Elaine Neil Orr, Swimming Between Worlds (2018), p. 170.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Uduku (2006-09-01). "Modernist architecture and 'the tropical' in West Africa: The tropical architecture movement in West Africa, 1948–1970". Habitat International. 30 (3): 396–411. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2004.11.001. ISSN 0197-3975.
  6. Gavron, D. (1988, May 29). AYO VAUGHAN-RICHARDS 'I WAS TAUGHT THAT I CAN DO WHATEVER A MAN CAN DO'. Chicago Tribune (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com
  7. Service, James Brooke, New York Times News. "BRAZILIAN HOUSES IN NIGERIA ARE A LEGACY OF THOUSANDS OF FREED". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  8. Okoye, Ikem (1993). "Good news for modern man?: architecture as evangelical mission in southern Nigeria". Passages.
  9. le Roux, Hannah (2003). "The networks of tropical architecture". doi:10.1080/1360236032000134835. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  10. Antończyk, Katarzyna. "Architecture in Africa - a modernist African interior | ONE PHOTO SUNDAY". Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  11. Kaye, Whiteman. Lagos : a cultural and historical imagination. Exeter, UK. ISBN 9781908493897. OCLC 868916695.

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