Art within Art: an Architectural Tour of the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art

Understanding the architectural motives behind the YSMA building with architect and director Jess Castellot.

Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Pan-Atlantic University

Welcome to the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art

The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA), of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, is the first purpose built, privately owned art museum in Nigeria. The 900 sqm museum hosts over 1000 artworks from Prince Yemisi Shyllon’s vast art collection. Thanks to him, the YSMA is privileged to have one of the most comprehensive and diverse art collections in the country and to make it accessible to all visitors. 

"We are excited about the contribution this new unit of the university can make towards a better society. At YSMA, we are also aware of our responsibility as a pioneering university art museum in the country. We hope that YSMA will become a gateway to the Pan-Atlantic University and a visitors’ destination in Lagos."
Dr. Jess Castellote, YSMA architect and Director

The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA)Original Source: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art

"The architecture of the YSMA aligns with the principles that inspired the design of all the buildings at the Pan-Atlantic University; fitness for purpose, flexibility, sustainability and character.

The stained concrete outer walls, inspired by the red mud houses of earlier civilizations such as the ancient Benin Kingdom, reflects the YSMA's ambition of promoting Nigeria's culture through art."

The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) (2020)Original Source: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art

"In addition, the clean cube of 30 x 30 x 11 meters give the building an iconic character that emphasizes how much the university values the YSMA as an important contributor to its educational mission"

"The museum's premises currently holds two structures; The main building houses the artworks and museum staff while the gazebo was built for relaxation and children's arts and craft activities."

"We wanted to create a flexible space that will allow the museum to change its display configuration according to changing curatorial demands. Secondly, we wanted a building that will use resources efficiently."

"In planning the YSMA building and its systems, the designers gave great attention to security, environmental control, efficient lighting, display quality and ease of circulation.

The excellent thermal insulation of the external walls and the efficient air circulation throughout the single “exhibition space” will require a minimum air conditioning load."

"At YSMA we are committed to contribute to the Pan-Atlantic University's educational mission by offering PAU students, faculty, staff and visitors a valuable resource to develop a deep appreciation for the visual arts.

I am glad to let you know that from the beginning, the YSMA will give special attention to educational programming from schools in Lagos. The museum will also work with all the departments and units of the university to offer our students an exceptional vehicle for learning about Nigerian art."

"We hope the museum will become an indispensable tool for those interested in Nigerian art and will attract many others to come to Pan-Atlantic University and experience these works physically. We look forward to welcoming you."

Credits: Story

Chidera Ifechukwu: Communications Officer
Jess Castellote: Museum Director
Michael Oseghale: Museum Manager

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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