Demas Nwoko is a Nigerian artist, architect and master builder. Born in 1935, Nwoko is well known for unique works that span stage design, sculpture, painting, and structural design.
Having no formal training in architecture, Nwoko studied art, becoming part of the Zaria rebels in the 1960s, a group of artists pushing the boundaries of traditional visual and performing arts in Nigeria. Three architectural innovations are attributed to him: re-interpretation of the traditional Igbo court, the double skinned exterior wall and the use of stabilized and pressed earth blocks. Key works include The Dominican Institute, Ibadan and The Akenzua Cultural Center, Benin, both reflecting his devotion to Christianity with most of the motifs taken from the Bible, as well as a fusion of modern design techniques with African tradition. The Architecture of Demas Nwoko by
John Godwin and Gilian Hopwood takes a closer look at his work.