The Visual Art Center in Ilorin, is to be a purpose-built art gallery capable of attracting the best in contemporary African art from around the continent. There will, in addition, be spaces for cinematic creation and video art with editing and animation studios, a screening room as well as a cafe/restaurant, gift shop, co-working space and public landscape gardens. Resisting the notion of art gallery as an elite cultural object, we have sought to integrate it more into the life of the city and invite the public in.
The building is inspired by industrial warehouse typologies with all functions under one transparent roof canopy and programs visually interconnected with one another. The gallery is at the center of the building, doubling as a public 'atrium' on the ground floor and anchoring the surrounding interior spaces, with other functions looking onto and flowing in and out of it seamlessly. The triangulated shed roof allows indirect illumination from the north into the heart of the space and support solar panels to support energy consumption.