Studio Elementals, African soul
Studio Elementals was founded in 2015 and is located in Lagos, Nigeria. With a population of close to 200 million, Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is an ideal location for architects interested in leaving a mark, especially in emerging economies in Africa. This is what Stephanie Theuretzbacher chose to do after she graduated from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.
Before venturing into the architecture market in Nigeria, Stephanie Theuretzbacher worked with several architects in Vienna, including Wolf D. Prix and Hani Rashid in 2012, Wolfgang Tschapeller and Heri&Salli. She was also a co-founder of SeMF, a collective for architecture and art.
While she worked was at the University, Stephanie gained an interest in the Africa portfolio, specifically Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her research focused on infrastructural, spatial, cultural and environmental influences on architectural designs. Africa has an interesting array of cultures, which often determines how buildings are designed. The building materials used are often linked to the climate conditions and the cultural aspects of the community where the building will be situated.
Her curiosity and interest in creating unique structures led her to Nigeria. Although Studio Elementals is based in Lagos, Nigeria, the company also bids for projects in other African nations. Ethiopia and South Sudan are some of the African countries that have benefited from the creative designs from the Studio Elementals team.
This architectural company stands out because the team believes there is a connection between culture and architecture. Culture can influence the building designs, and at the same time, architecture can be used to illustrate the belief system of the people in the area. Sometimes, the connection is shown by the building design. Other times, the building materials reveal salient aspects of the community.
The team of architects and project developers believe their work goes beyond designing and construction. They believe that a design that has a cultural significance will eventually be historical because it will preserve the people’s culture, even when modernity threatens it.
This coffee club is located in Trocadero Mall, Lagos. Studio Elements was commissioned to handle the interior design. The team came up with a design that worked for the customers, workers, and the concept fits in with the design of the mall. The outcome was a comfortable, safe and appealing space to enhance the experience of the patrons of this coffee shop. This project was completed in 2018.
JOKO Shop is a retail store that sells home products, including furniture. When coming up with the design, the designers picked a style that explores a small retail space. Since retail space is not cheap in Lagos, the architects hoped to create an area that will be functional and affordable to businesses that are not looking for concepts similar to large showrooms. This flexibility makes it possible for business owners to alter the use of the space depending on changing business models and demand for products.
Signature Suites – ASABA
This 75-room high-end accommodation facility was designed by Studio Elementals. Natural ventilation and indoor green spaces give this hotel a unique appeal. The porous façade improves the shade on the room balconies and ensures the guests have their privacy. This project was completed in 2017.
Studio Elementals was contacted to renovate Signature Court, a fifteen 3-bedroom apartment building in Lagos, Nigeria. The additional features include a compound space with enough parking spaces, a gym and a pool area. The renovation process was completed in 2017.
When Studio Elementals was contacted for this project, they were presented with a residential duplex villa and asked to transform it into a commercial area. The architects created open facades with great views, green inner courtyards, and various shaded areas to ensure customer comfort when they visit the facility.