Seaside pavilion by Tosin Oshinowo brings minimalism to the Lagos lagoon

Seaside pavilion by Tosin Oshinowo brings minimalism to the Lagos lagoon

Tosin Oshinowo and cmDesign Atelier create idyllic beach pavilion off the Lagos lagoon in Nigeria

The Lagos lagoon’s special topography means that a series of idyllic beaches and tropical stretches of leafy coast are just a stone’s throw from the bustle of the Nigerian metropolis. It is here, among the sandy, palm tree-lined open expanses that architect Tosin Oshinowo was called upon to create a minimalist seaside pavilion. The project, a private space for entertaining and relaxation, was named the Coral Pavilion, referencing the site’s proximity to the water, and the special land it is built on. 

Designed by Oshinowo and her Lagos architecture studio cmDesign Atelier – featured in the 2021 Wallpaper* Architects Directory – the project sits on a slim strip of a peninsula outside central Lagos that is not accessible by road, and marks a stark contrast to the city with its busy life and fast pace. ‘It is not quite a beach house,’ Oshinowo explains. ‘It’s a pavilion, a space for socialising, not sleeping; the clients always return to their main home in Lagos at night. Everything is focused around the view.’

Exterior view of Coral Pavilion, a seaside pavilion designed by Tosin Oshinowo

Following her work’s signature explorations in modernist and minimalist architecture, Oshinowo created the pavilion’s form using low, clean lines and a prevailing white hue that contrasts pleasingly with the greenery around it. This uncluttered approach is enriched by green-coloured elements that make various features pop – such as the painted bar patterns, which are inspired by those used by Nigeria’s Kanuri people, and the bespoke pigmented concrete dining table legs. Furniture made in the country’s east adds more local design roots to the project. 

Open to the elements, yet protected from the sun and rain by its roof and pronounced overhang, this seaside pavilion makes the most of its al fresco nature. ‘In this part of Nigeria, we have this very consistent north-south wind, which means there’s a constant breeze all day on site, helping the temperature remain cool. We have tried to emphasise and make the most of it through the structure’s openings and overall arrangement,’ says Oshinowo. §

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