A study of Ikorodu vernacular architecture and its decorative motifs

  • Kehinde ADEPEGBA


Ikorodu, for its nearness to Lagos, increasing developments andgrowing population, is experiencing a lot of transformation which in recent times has led to selling of old houses for the construction of banks, eateries, and shopping complexes, and demolition due to reconstruction of old roads. In the face of this problem, this study was carried out on the existing Ikorodu vernacular architecture and its decorative motifs before some of them will be sold or demolished. Domestic Afro-Brazilian houses with unique decorative motifs across the town were selected randomly and classified into two: a) houses belonging to the rich and noble and b) houses belonging to the middle and low-classes.Decorative motifs found on the façade of the houses were analysed against the culture and lifestyles of the people. Five categories of motifs were analysed and discussed, namely: Animal motifs, Plant motifs, Linear motifs, Geometric motifs, Metaphorical motifs and Colonial-influenced motifs.The study found that Ikorodu architecture is highly decorative with meaningful motifs that communicate the beliefs of the people, and some motifs are used on more than one house. The study concluded that Ikorodu vernacular architecture is a means of understanding the lifestyle and beliefs of the owners.It was recommended that effort should be geared towards the preservation of the houses by the government through legal means, so that the owners will not be tempted to sell them for huge money often offered by owners of private commercial enterprises.