Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA)

Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA)

Adjaye Associates as Architects

The new EMOWAA draws inspiration from its historical architectural typologies and establishes its own courtyard in the form of a public garden, exhibiting a variety of indigenous flora and a canopy that offers shade – a welcoming green environment suitable for gatherings, ceremonies and events. The galleries float above the gardens and are articulated by a series of elevated volumes – an inversion of the courtyard typology – within each of which sit pavilions which take their form from fragments of reconstructed historic compounds. These fragments allow the objects themselves to be arranged in their pre-colonial context and offer visitors the opportunity to better understand the true significance of these artefacts within the traditions, political economy and rituals enshrined within the culture of Benin City.

A new dedicated space, EMOWAA will contain the rich, regal and sacred objects of Benin’s past, in a way that allows visitors not just the possibility of “looking in” but “looking out” into the visual landscape of imagining the once historic borders of a restored ancient kingdom.

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