Patterns and Reflections: Behind CMD+A’s Design for the GTBank Fashion Weekend

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Back in November, GTBank held the inaugural edition of the GTBank Fashion Weekend – a consumer focused fashion exhibition and capacity building event, aimed at promoting enterprise within the fast growing Nigerian fashion industry. 

The event, which was designed by Lagos-based design architects, CMD+A, was held within and around a purpose built marquee. The architect’s brief included the design of the overall site masterplan covering a 15 000 sqm area, as well as the concept design for the exterior and interior of the 4800 sqm marquee.

As Designers/Architects, we make decisions based on our assumptions on how we expect spaces to be occupied. As end-users, we get the opportunity to see if our assumptions are correct but also to see how people appropriate and adapt these spaces not as we planned. This is the best gratification.

-Tosin Oshinowo, Principal, CMD+A

CMD+A defined the concept behind their design as “patterns versus reflections“- a theme that ran through all the elements of the project, most notably on the approach facade of the marquee.

The Marquee Exterior

The façade of the marquee is, for all intents and purposes, a fairly large mirror made up of reflective acrylic panels. These panels are affixed to marine boards that have been fastened to a square-profile metal frame truss. The idea behind the reflective façade was intended to stimulate interaction with the end-users and play on our human vanity, which is a central leitmotif of fashion in general.


The exterior craft village featured a more indigenous aesthetic. Raffia mats were used as a ‘roofing’ material of sorts, laid atop steel frame tents that lightly demarcated the otherwise open plan area. This allowed for a flexible space that left visitors free to stroll from stand to stand taking in the experience and picking up an item or two.



The Marquee Interior

The interior was zoned into 3 areas, the fashion runway, the exhibition (the mall) space and the master class.  The exhibition space was designed with a central spine connecting all activity areas and while acting as a filter to the retail exhibitors. There was also a conveniently located café at the rear of the mall, which helped to pull in more foot-traffic into the space.






The exhibition stands within the marquee were designed as minimalist folds. The materials used also tied into the overarching theme of patterns and reflection. The matte white of the backing walls, the patterning of the translucent composite panels used for the partition divides, as well as the full height mirrors at the end of each module, all worked well together to visually translate the ideology behind the theme.








Here’s a highlight video for the event, that inadvertently lets you see the CMD+A’s work in action. Also, If you’re interested in finding out more about the event, you can go here.





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