Ilédì Oǹtótóo: early photograph with thatched roof

Adebisi Akanji, Susanne Wenger1968/1975

Adunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Adunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation
Osogbo, Nigeria

Built in the late 1960’s and early 1970s on the site of an abandoned school, Ilédì Oǹtótóo is the assembly point for the Ògbóni, Yorùbá traditionalists associated with the Earth deity. This remarkable structure is composed of three enormous roofs which rise against the sky like giant lizards, representing the forces of the earth before mankind.

It is one of Susanne Wenger’s most complex and sensitive architectural creations.
‘Like the rest of Susanne’s architecture, this building fully stands up to her own ultimate test: it forms part of the forest, it grows like a spectacular tree, and in spite of its unusual shape this building does not impose itself on its surroundings. Rather it is like a concentration, a heightening of the atmosphere around it.’ (The return of the Gods, Ulli Beier, 1975, page 80)


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