Artist: Andréas Lang
Location: Lagos Island, Lagos

Terrain Vague. The disappeared Ilojo Bar

2 Alli Street opposite from Tinubu Square in Lagos Island

The Ilojo Bar (also called the “Olaiya House” or “Casa do Fernandez”), was a Brazilian-styled historic building located near Tinubu Square in Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria. It was built in 1855 and bought by the late Alfred Omolona Olaiya in 1933. For 161 years this house was part of the Brazilian Quarter of Lagos and was built by Africans who regained their freedom from their “Portuguese masters” in Brazil. Its historical, social and architectural values have been well acclaimed, thus, prompting the Federal Government to give it special protection status as a National Monument through Gazette 25 Vol. 43 of April 5, 1956.

It was pulled down unexpectedly on September 11, 2016 by a “developer”.

The place where the house was standing is now a pile of rubble and appears like an open wound on Lagos Island. Amidst the rubble you can find pieces of the destroyed walls on which remains a beautiful blue and green painting from the former interior decoration. The stones almost look like a map with forests and lakes. One of them looks vaguely like the map of Nigeria .

 The circumstances of the demolition are quite obscure, especially since it was protected as a National Monument by the Government. Ironically now there is a police car permanently guarding the empty space. First time I went, there were still street vendors around, they are not allowed anymore. What is the transformation that will happen on this „terrain vague“. Will there be construction of a bank or insurance building, or a Chicken Republic fast food, or...?

 

The Ilojo Bar house that was demolished

Film on youtube about the demolition: