Ikise village, Ogun State in the southwestern part of Nigeria hosts the Guest Artists Space Ecological Green Farm, one of our two residency locations. The ethos of sustainability and ecology guide not only the farming practices adopted on the 54-acre land but also the construction methods used to build the structures on the plot.
This month, work continues to progress well on the central workspace building on the Ecology Green Farm known as the Farm House where the principles of sustainability are reflected clearly in both the construction and design. An estimated 40,000 bricks created from earth dug up during the foundation laying process have been used to create the structure which will eventually include additional workshop buildings focusing on specific disciplines such as crafts, textiles, pottery and music.
The entire project is inspired by the idea of “Ile wa” which means “Our Home” in the Yoruba language, a style that includes a central courtyard surrounded by ancillary buildings. The aspiration has always been for the design of the space to be harmonious with the environment whilst maintaining the elegance of handcrafting.
Building sustainably means that the process of hand casting the bricks has in the past been subject to delays. It requires dry weather days and this is not always the case as the southern parts of Nigeria often mimic Amazon forest typhoon rains. In spite of this, the good news is that work has continued and the Farm is on course to launch in 2022 as planned.