History- Department of Architecture

The history of the Department of Architecture goes further than the existence of Ahmadu Bello University. The Architecture course was first introduced in 1952 at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science Technology at Ibadan. The course was transferred to the Zaria branch of the college in 1955. The first set of Diploma of Architecture graduates were produced in 1961. The Diploma in Architecture Certificate was recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

The B.Arch Degree Programme (1963-1973) When in 1962, the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology Zaria, became a full fledged University, the Faculty of Architecture comprising of only the Department of Architecture was one of the founding faculties. On becoming a department of a University, the Architecture programme changes the nomenclature of its diploma to Bachelor of Architecture which was awarded for the first time in 1963 and was also recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Two-Tier B.Sc/M.Sc Degree Programme (1974-to-Date) The evolution of the B.Arch. programme can, best be described as difficult due to its rigidity. Initially, the department was affiliated with RIBA which was discontinued and the pattern previously set under the system of Architectural Education had to change. Therefore, we had to endure a continuous revision of course structure, towards building a form of architectural education consistent with national needs. The department originally, based on Arc. Egbo’s recommendation of 1968 introduced a two-tier degree system which took–off in 1969. The system being a departure from the rigid B.Arch (five year) degree to double tier B.Sc/M.Sc degree in Architecture is more flexible to students’ abilities. The BSc. Undergraduate programme gives a theoretical foundation while the MSc. Postgraduate programme gives the professional (NIA/ARCON) minimum qualification with a Postgraduate thesis research requirement. Again our local needs, peculiar circumstances and aspirations dictated the necessity to effect this change. The department has made progress and attained stability in this double tier BSc/MSc Architecture degree structure in curriculum content, staff intake, provision of physical facilities and student enrolment. The student intake in 1970s rose to eighty (80) during the period of “Construction Boom”. However, at the turn of the millennium we have witnessed rapid urbanization in most developing economies which has resulted in high competition in candidates applying to study Architecture. The department currently has to struggle to admit just 2% of qualified candidates applying to study the programme (average 5,000 applicants) with enrolment hitting an average of 100 students annually. A Case for Faculty of Architecture As a result of the rapid urbanization engulfing most developing economies and the role of Architects as movers and shakers of urban centres, changes/challenges posed by the environment, high number of applicants wishing to study architecture, the department is currently re–structuring/expanding its entire curriculum and reverting to its original ‘Faculty’ status. This has already received the formal approval of both NIA/ARCON and the NUC so as to introduce more specialized programmes such as Landscape Design, Urban Design, Interior Design, Advanced Housing Studies, CAAD, Ecological Urban Planning and Development, etc. With a strong entrepreneurial content and research focus on sustainable environment, the proposed Faculty of Architecture programmes promises to be the most preferred choices of students in the university.