BP Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria
On 1st October 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain. Jane Drew was in Lagos during this historic period and she wrote home to Maxwell Fry of the carnival atmosphere in the capital: ‘Lagos is electric with excitement.’
Drew was in town to attend the opening of the headquarters for British Petroleum in Lagos, designed by Fry, Drew & Partners. The office block is one of several lucrative projects designed by Fry and Drew for British companies in West Africa – others include the Co-operative Bank, just a few streets away from the BP building, and the Leventis Store in Accra.
Now African Petroleum House, the roof terrace has since been filled in to provide an extra floor of office space and the louvres have been altered – no doubt following the introduction or upgrading of the air conditioning. For images of the building shortly after its opening, see the RIBA online photograph collection.