Femi Olaiya – a renowned UK-based architectural photographer shares with us an exclusive look at his images capturing the studio experience of six emerging African architecture practices shaping the urban fabric of the city of Lagos. In this third edition of the series, we get an inside look at cmDesign Atelier.
No of Staff: 8
Year of establishment: 7 years in October 2019
Studio’s previous Studio Use: office lobby
Set up in 2012, cmD+A are a collaborative, informed and aspirational design practice. They a close-knit team that prides themselves with being able to deal with people as people and not just as clients.
Their designs have an aesthetic signature, which embody their values- ‘less is more’ and ‘function follows form’. For each project, they consider the environmental impact on society at large with an aim to create contemporary solutions that constantly push the boundaries of Architecture in Nigeria and the African Continent. This is well demonstrated in their ability to create interesting places conscious of materiality, light and spatial experience.
Femi Olaiya is an innovative, creative and dedicated, Nigerian-born, professional photographer based in Portsmouth, in the UK. He studied architecture at the prestigious School of Architecture, University of Lagos, Nigeria. He relocated to the UK shortly after his post graduate studies to pursue a career in architecture.
Femi currently works as a certified BIM professional and architectural design manager on award-winning multi-million-pound developments as a key member of the Portsmouth City Council regeneration team. His architecture photographs have featured on the front cover of the largest commercial real estate magazine in the south of England as well as in renowned luxury building lifestyle magazine Porcelanosa. He has also had his fashion and portrait photography work featured in Vogue Italia.
Femi’s love for architecture photography was further reinforced when his historic Lagos family home Old Olaiya Building (Casa de Fernandez or ‘Ilojo Bar’) was destroyed in 2016. His biggest regret was that the memory of this important national monument – loaded with personal sentimental value for him and many Lagosians – was never frozen in time with professional photography and technical plans in a deferrable document for future generations to read about. He is determined to do everything he can to ensure that the same mistake isn’t made for the rest of Nigeria’s proud portfolio of nationally significant buildings.