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Banana Island Building Collapse: Project Designed By Unknown Architects, Engineers

Jun 24, 2023

A renowned Nigerian architect, Dr Olanrewaju Towry-Coker, has said that the seven-storey building, which collapsed in the Banana Island area of Lagos State on Wednesday, was designed by unknown ‘architects’ and ‘engineers’ and being built by ‘unknown’ persons!


According to Lagos State Government, preliminary investigations revealed that the building collapsed as a result of a concrete mixer truck that rammed into some load-bearing columns of the building.

Towry-Coke who visited the site of the collapsed building on Thursday said there was no way the load-bearing columns could support the structure, because they were too narrow in thickness.

He wondered how this could be possible in Lagos Island which, he noted, has been construction hub since the 1800's.

"I had the rare privilege of visiting the site of the latest collapsed building in Banana Island yesterday afternoon, 13th April in order to be in a position to comment in a knowledgeable and professional manner," the former Commissioner of Housing in Lagos under the administration of Bola Tinubu said in a statement.

"What I also noticed was the fact that, there was no way, the reinforced concrete columns, could support the seven storey, structure because they were just too narrow in thickness, and it was obvious to a trained eye that they were already beginning to show signs of buckling!


"I looked for the names of the design team on a signboard and, all I saw was a name on a site lift, which was apparently the name of the company as well as the contractor who was also the ‘architect’ and ‘engineer’!

"In other words, the project was designed by unknown ‘architects’ and ‘engineers’ and being built by ‘unknown’ persons!

"How this can be possible in Lagos Island which has been construction hub since the 1800's, still beats me."

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Towry-Coker who was elected a Fellow of The Royal Institute of British Architects in 2016, commended the state government for putting on hold all developments on Banana Island.


The state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered that all developments in the area be placed on hold.

The directive is subject to a comprehensive audit by the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

This is to determine how many buildings are being constructed without approval from the state government; and "If all approved buildings are being built in line with the approval limits provided".

Towry-Coker said stopping of development activities in the area as directed by the Governor, will help to prevent further building collapse as competent and experienced structural professionals, are brought in to assist in the assessment.

"I applaud the decision of the Lagos State Government in enforcing a blanket ban on all construction activities in Banana Island, till a proper inventory is made of all high rise buildings.

"This is not only a very prudent approach, but it’ll also help to prevent further building collapse on the Island, as competent and experienced structural engineer members of the National professional body, are brought in to assist in the assessment.


"This was my public recommendation after the collapse of the Four Score building in Ikoyi, less than two years ago," he added.