The need for urban renewal or regeneration and building collapse prevention will be the central focus of discussions at this year’s edition of the Lagos Architects Forum (LAF), the organizers have said.
The Forum which is already in its 10th edition is an annual event orgainsed by the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA). It provides opportunities for participants and partners to meet with the various players and stakeholders in construction industry.
The focus on urban renewal and building collapse is the institute’s response to the frequent building failures that have occurred in Lagos and other parts of the country in recent times. The institute sees every need for builders and government to be educated on what should be done to prevent further occurrence.
“We are concerned about the loss of lives and destruction of property each time a building collapses. We note that most of the buildings that collapse are old and distressed. Again, many of them did not have any professional involvement in both design and supervision,” Fitzgerald Umah, chairman of the Lagos chapter explained to journalists at a press conference in Lagos recently.
Umah disclosed that the institute would be presenting a document to the government that would help them to prevent building collapse.
On urban renewal, he revealed further that the forum would also be highlighting the need for urban regeneration, citing an instance of what he called Ethiopian Community as a good model where both the rich and the poor live in the same community, sharing whatever facilities that are available in the community.
Expectation is that this year’s edition, which will have high profile personalities in attendance, will provide opportunities for participants to interact and establish bilateral ties as well as follow-on contacts with affiliated companies, service providers, manufacturers, corporate bodies, prospective end-users, clients and other relevant stakeholders.
The personalities that are expected at the forum, according to the chairman, are Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, as chief host; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state’s governor-elect as special guest. Others are the managing director of Sterling Bank which is the forum’s partner and sponsor, among other dignitaries.
Major highlights of this year’s event are a walk and design competition for students and young graduates of architecture. Umah explained that the walk which would start from the National Stadium in Surulere to the University of Lagos is aimed to make architects and other professionals exercise.
The walk, he added, is aimed to promote good health condition, create awareness on what people need to do when they want to start building their houses, and also to tell builders that every building should have an architect or any other professional in the built environment.
The chairman, who was with Abiodun Fatuyi, the chapter’s secretary general, and other Exco members at the press conference, explained that the design competition was aimed to
encourage students and young graduates of the architecture profession.
The first prize for young graduates attracts N1million; second prize is N750,000 while the third prize winner goes home with N500,000. As for the students, the first prize is N750,000; second prize is N500,000 while third prize is N250,000. “These will be funded with the Sterling Alternative Finance,” Umah informed.