A Case Study of Festac Town, Lagos


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The state of the physical environment especially in the urban centers, today is a major source of global concern. There is a larger concern for developing nations like Nigeria. This is as a result of the fact that the urban environment greatly consists of man’s development. The safeguarding of the urban areas from human injurious, physical, social, economic and political activities should be man’s main objective (Ogundele, Ayo, Odewumi, & Aigbe, 2011).

Transformation is a change in form shape and appearance (WordWeb, 2012). Transformation in this context is seen as the gradual change of a building in terms of form and use of individual spaces within a structure. Many buildings are subject to change over time; this has adverse effect on the individuals living within the vicinity. The building use determines the pattern of living of the individuals within and around it. Transformation can be in the form of changing of building facades, addition of spaces by the user to suit a particular need. These alterations to a building form on the interior would also lead to a change on the exterior.

Transformation has been experienced in Nigeria over some time. For instance; Lagos has undergone rapid transformation to bring it to its current state. There has been eradication of slums in order to provide beautifying landscapes in Lagos. There is still ongoing construction in Lagos as facilities have been put in place to ensure the maintenance of these new development schemes.

Transformation has occurred in several regions within lagos like Festac. These transformations have come to be as a result of high population growth rate within Festac.

Most of these transformations are done to provide for the need of the rising population


The Festac Houses were thrown open the same year that Nigeria hosted the second World Black Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos from January 15 to February 12, 1977. The Festival of Arts and Culture (hence the name FESTAC) placed Nigeria on the spot on the world stage at that time and the FESTAC houses readily provided accommodation to visitors from all over the world (Aderonmu, 2007).

In May 1974 the Federal Housing Authority of the Federal Government of Nigeria engaged Doxiadis Associates to provide consulting services and to carry out certain studies for a new area in greater Lagos which is intended to he developed as a residential area within time frame of the National housing programme.

The ultimate target of the project is to create a model residential community, to house as much as possible, the population of Lagos State providing all facilities and amenities in keeping with the concepts and standards of modern life, and ensuring for its residents, a high quality of life and environment.

Presently, Festac Town is being fully harnessed as a residential community. But the question arises as what extent the objectives of the original concept has been achieved. The present study examines this question and evaluates the scheme, based on the original master plan (Adedokun, 2013).


The master plan for the entire development of Festival Town (FESTAC) covers an area of about 1,770 hectares, and includes seven residential communities of 15,000-20,000 people each. The ultimate development was expected to accommodate a total of 24,000 dwelling units with a population of about 1 40,000 people (Adedokun, 2013). These units over time have changed use over time and mainly to form more commercial outlets in place of these structures.

Festac is undergoing a form of gentrification; this is the restoration of run-down areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of low income residences) (WordWeb, 2012).

This forms the basis for my research as this plays a major role in the alterations to the master plan. This is a contributor to the transformation of buildings within Festac, changing it to a mixed use settlement.


In order to aid the communication of tis research project, some questions need to be answered for the success completion of this study;

  • What was the intention behind the development of Festac Town?
  • What was the initial concept of the master plan
  • At what time did alterations begin in Festac
  • What is the pattern of transformation in Festac?
  • What is the reason for alteration to the master plan?
  • What is the effect of these transformations on individuals living around?

Provision of solution to these questions in the evaluation of this study would imply a justified project.


The main aim of this project is to unveil through research the mode of transformation of building structures within Festac Town.

To aid successful completion of this research, the following objectives must be completed;

  • Evaluation of the initial master plan.
  • Identification of the current state of the estate (existing development).
  • What changes have occurred focusing on 51RD and 52RD.

Over time, development has occurred in Nigeria particularly in Abuja where a master plan was conceived to give a well-organized layout for the Federal capital territory (FCT). Some buildings in the FCT which came to be outside the initial master plan have been pulled down to ensure they conform to the layout.

This is the basis for my research. It involves the evaluation of the initial master plan of Festac as to the current situation of its buildings at hand. It has been discovered that many of the buildings in the master plan are being altered and this follows a particular pattern or trend also so many so these buildings have changed use. There is a need therefore, for this to be examined.


This study is aimed at examining the problem and prospect of transformation which is rapidly occurring in Festac Town. The study carried out reveals that the body in charge of Development Control and environmental management include; the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and The Amuwo Odofin local government. The Federal housing Authority is in charge of management of the estate and they have control over physical development. However, The Amuwo Odofin Local government is in charge of waste management, road maintenance, and clearance drainage system.

For the purpose of this exercise, my main focus will be on the physical development aspect of Festac which is being handled by the Federal Housing Authority. It will entail a critical evaluation of the initial master plan of Festac town; particularly 22 RD and 52RD, its current state and making comparisons to see what structures have been altered in terms of use. All information gathered was from relevant literature and field study carried out in the study area.


In order to accomplish the set aims and objectives of this study, this research will entail a critical evaluation. The methods employed in this study include the following; case study, survey method, collection of primary data (online resources, books, journals and Literature review) and collection of primary data through interviews.

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