10th – 23rd September 2012,  (Mon – Fri,  9 – 5pm)
The Matthew Architecture Gallery with assistance from Schop Institute




The [Archive] Alan Vaughan-Richards exhibition, formally opened at 4.45pm on Monday 10th September, by Professor Richard Williams, Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Dean of Postgraduate Studies CHSS. Professor Williams commended the team who put the exhibition together, and commented on the success of the project in working collaboratively with colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand, via the British Academy Grant, and the development of  South-South collaborations. He was pleased that Edinburgh University was both the location of the exhibition and had been able to contribute funds to the digitisation project.

A surprise appearance was made by Remi Vaughan-Richards, via a near perfect Skype link , from Lagos Nigeria.  She said hello to all guests at the event and expressed her appreciation about the work that had gone into the exhibition, and its contribution to her late father’s legacy. She was given a ‘virtual tour’ of the exhibition via the ‘Skype’ link. She sent her best wishes and was present throughout the brief opening ceremony.

Professor Miles Glendinning, Head of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies, gave a short talk on the archive and the significance of the project as a catalyst for further research and links with Africa and the ‘South’. He hoped that students would see the future project opportunities that the exhibition highlighted.

Ola Uduku thanked all for attending the ceremony – particularly the team who helped with putting up the exhibition; Michael Collins and Schop/Oliver Chapman Architects, Rachel Travers, Malcolm Cruickshank, Keith Milne, Elena Sorokina, Jessica Lammy and Satish BK.

Alan Vaughan-Richards (b.1925-d.1989), came to Nigeria to work for the Architects’ Co-Partnership in 1955 and married the Lagos socialite Ayo Vaughan in 1959. On the ACP ‘s withdrawal from Nigeria he established his own practice, in 1961, later he worked in partnership with the Nigerian architect Felix Ibru. He had a varied practice, peaking with work done in the late 50s through to the 60s, that covered a range of projects, from private houses and factories to University campus layouts and buildings. As a resident ‘Lagosian’, aside from his architectural work, he was involved in architectural education debates, and the artistic and cultural life of Lagos, notably he was the co-author of the publication Building Lagos.

Since his death in 1989, his architectural drawings and other creative work has remained in his office in his Lagos residence, although researchers have highlighted and written about his unique contribution to West African architecture. With funding from Edinburgh University, 310 of his drawings have been brought over from Lagos and digitised for preservation and future international research use, using ECA facilities. This exhibition curated by Ola Uduku, with assistance from the Schop institute, displayed the digitisation process undertaken, some of his key projects, drawings, and presents a contextual view ofthe Lagos life in the 1960s, that the architect was part of.

The funding for the digitisation process and this exhibition contributes to a larger British Academy Grant, awarded for the Alan Vaughan-Richards Project, to Ola Uduku, Edinburgh University, and Hannah Le Roux, University of the Witwatersrand, and funding from the Goethe Institute, Lagos, involving South African and German research associates from KU Leuven and Berlin. The larger Project objectives are not only to preserve his drawings and extend his creative legacy, but also to develop a redevelopment plan for the entire Lagos site including his residence.

The original drawings and parts of this [Archive] Exhibition will be incorporated in a major Alan Vaughan-Richards exhibition, to be curated by Ola Uduku and Hannah le Roux at the completion of the full Project, and held in Lagos in 2013, with further funding and assistance from the Goethe Institute and British Council in Lagos.

The Matthew Architecture Gallery
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, (ESALA)
Minto House, 20 Chambers Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1JZ

Contact: Dr Ola Uduku /  o.uduku@ed.ac.uk / 0131 6515786