Villa Onala, Lagos, Nigeria

Tosin Oshinowo, Architect

I was born in 1980 in Ibadan in Nigeria and spent part of my childhood in Lagos. It was happy and uneventful but was under the economic restrictions of the then Nigerian Military Government. Restrictions manifested as import embargoes and limitations on public speech and movement. These provided a perfect foundation for a creative child to imagine and create objects of interest and play, as there was nothing else to do.

In the late 1990s, I moved with my twin-sister to the United Kingdom for our A-levels at Ashville College in Harrogate, where I took Art under Mr John Mullin. My creative education in Art, Design and Architecture started here and took me through three degrees, culminating with my attendance at the Architectural Association in London.

My Place is a beach house, designed and renovated by my office, cmDesign Atelier in 2020. The original structure we completed in 2013. However, our client asked for a facelift, and this was an opportunity for us to review one of our buildings but with an evolved design aesthetic. It’s a beautiful, elegant giant with inviting shaded spaces offering many moments for pause. Also of interest is the coconut tree that we incorporated into the building; this is just visible to the right of the image.