This paper deals with the dynamics and challenges of Nigerian architecture in practice. The focus was on the trend and development of housing forms in Nigerian cities, the forces that have shaped and patterned their evolution overtime. Drawing on the divergent example of the transition from traditional to modern urban housing forms in post colonial Nigeria, the paper reveals that social changes, particularly the shift from traditional community, family values to more western ways of life, have had variegated impact on buildings and residential layouts. One of these was the ‘inhabitant’ alienated from the urban environment and the seeming identification with home place of origin outside the city. While this situation poses a major challenge to the practice of architecture, professional planning practice on the other hand, seems to have demonstrated little interest in what people think or feel about places. The paper concludes by suggesting ways to promote the practice of contemporary architecture and planning to enhance communal living in Nigeria.
Key words: Architecture, forms, housing, modern, traditional, values.
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