Bruuda Architects is an architectural firm that sees itself at the cutting edge of practice. As to be expected of such a firm, they are part of the new wave of architectural offices that define themselves as globally positioned but locally situated in theory and practice of architecture.
In their case the locality of choice is Nigeria, with offices in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and head quartered in Lagos. They specialize in the use of modernist ideals generally, and afro-modernist techniques specifically, and their proper application to the Nigerian architectural landscape.
Over time, the local architectural scenery has evolved to incorporate various, borrowed/ foreign stylistic trends and movements, which has resulted in a very diverse, albeit identity-deficient architecture. Bruuda addresses this, as in much else, by going the opposite way; designing with firmly entrenched ideals following a general synthesis of functionalism and minimalism, but within an African context.
Case in point: The Fault Line/ Urban Fabric- Abuja. The Schatz park, an investment park located just behind Transcorp Hilton, was designed to closely mimic the tectonic plates running underneath the city; the park is a redefinition of the conventional typology of Urban Foci. A new ‘Quasi Aso Rock’ serving as a lightening rod attracting the people that constitute the urban fabric.
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The Fault Line,
Though yet unbuilt a thorough review of their design process yields an understanding of a firm whose rigor and procedural methodology is borderline scientific.
A look through several other projects, also showcases a clearly distinct style and almost no semblance whatsoever to the work we’ve grown accustomed to in the nation’s skyline.
A graduate of Columbia University with further degrees in advanced architectural design, managing partner, Yem Edozie jokes: “We’re disruptors…there tends to be standard recipes for architecture, but we at Bruuda architects generally prefer to work outside those guidelines. It’s an approach that is not typically seen here, because it is not so easily imitated. It’s impolite to speak of success… the work must speak for itself, always”
The downside to such an approach though is the ‘trademark similarity’ that has led to accusations of monotony and a lack of sympathy to site and context.
“Of course, there have been accusations from a lot of quarters, but we believe wholly in consistency. Context: Content: Concept; these are words used inter-changeably by many architects but truly understood by a rare few. We can, if we chose depart momentarily from our chosen methodology, but on the whole, our clientele love what we do and see our work as unique and in this regard we’ve been lucky. We don’t deliberately design to make our projects look different. No, we simply have a process and we instill in our team, to trust that process in every single building we do. Most times the buildings just look right.”
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