This second part of our 2-part feature on the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library highlights the Main Library building of the complex and the exhibits therein as captured by Nigerian photographer and visual artist, Ayo Akinwande.
The design of the library building as mentioned in part 1 of our feature, is likened to “an outstretched arm welcoming visitors’’. The construction of the library was handled by Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nig Ltd who tapped studio masciotta to handle the structural design of the three storey (+pent house) building. You can see construction images on the studio masciotta website. The total built up area of the building is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 11 000 sqm, and it houses an exhibition area, reading hall, archive and reference, offices as well as conference and meeting rooms.
The library/museum serves as the centre-piece of the entire complex. It hosts two primary exhibits that detail the life and times of former president Olusegun Obasanjo showcasing and displaying various milestones in his 80 years of living; from his school report cards in elementary and primary school to the gifts he received from world leaders while serving as Nigeria’s commander in chief. Even a recreation of “CELL 333” his prison cell from his time in Yola Prison has a place in the exhibit.
The truly impressive exhibits were designed by the renowned team of Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a multidisciplinary firm specializing in the planning and design of museums, exhibits, educational environments and visitor attractions. RAA has completed 700 commissions that span globally over 50 countries and are widely regarded as the world’s best curators.
RAA worked with ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), a global design, fabrication and installation company, to bring their vision for the OOPL exhibits to life. They shot a ‘making of’ video that shows the process they followed in creating the exhibits.
Here’s a look at both exhibits as well as other key spaces within the Main library building through the lens of Mr. Ayo Akinwande.
ENTERING THE MAIN BUILDING
THE LIBRARY ORIENTATION ROOM
THE MUSEUM (EXHIBIT 1): HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, MILITARY CAREER AND IMPRISONMENT
THE MUSEUM (EXHIBIT 2): POLITICIAN, STATESMAN, MEDIATOR