Construction of magnificent structures have been one of the great characteristics which have differentiated the human race from other species. These structures include the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World of the remarkable constructions of classical architectural splendors built during the 1st-2nd Century, including:
- Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (near Selcuk in modern day Turkey),
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia in Greece,
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in modern day Turkey,
- Colossus of Rhodes in Rhodes Island Greece,
- The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt built during the reign of legendary Greek emperor Alexander the Great whose territory expanded into the city which was named after him,
- The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt also known as the Pyramid of Khufu which was constructed by Pharaoh Khufu(4th Dynasty) between 2560-2580 BC as a tomb at 146.5 metres (481 feet) and was the tallest man made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.
Largely, for centuries, man has always craved for the design and development of architectural masterpieces. The tomb of the Pharaoh attracts millions of tourists from around the world annually, who come to Egypt to visit the ancient wonder which still stands today thousands of years since it was built.
As human civilization grew in leaps and became unbounded and unconstrained, the Medieval (Middle Age) era saw architectural masterpieces which challenged the landmarks of its predecessors.
The Ancient Roman Empire during the era of Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 began the construction of the Colosseum, an oval shaped amphitheater in the city centre for entertainment which could take about 50,000 spectators. It was built with travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock) and brick faced concrete and completed in AD 80 by Titus and had some modifications during the reign of Domitian(1081-96), all rulers from the Flavian dynasty.
The Great Wall of China was begun during the reign of Qin Shi Huang (220-206 BC), the first Emperor of China and completed during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) to protect the various parts of China from foreign invasion, for border controls, imposition of duties on goods along the Silk Road Route, regulation of trade and immigration and emigration control. To serve its original defense purpose, it had watchtowers, troop barracks, garrison stations, military signals through smoke or fire while its path served as a transportation corridor.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey started in AD 360 and completed in AD 537 as the former Greek Orthodox Church Cathedral was the epitome of Byzantine(era of Constantine The Great) architecture which redesigned architecture. It was designed by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The construct was built using the best masonry available with a combination of brick and mortar joints, which are 1.5 times the width of the bricks, and the mortar joints are composed of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced very evenly throughout the mortar joints, which were considered to be equivalent to modern concrete at that period.
The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, a pagoda which was part of the Great Baoen Temple located on the South Bank of external River Qinhuai in Nanjing, China constructed in the 15th Century during the Ming Dynasty and was destroyed during the 19th Century Taiping Rebellion. Chinese real estate magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group donated about $165 million to get it redeveloped to modern standards which has been accomplished.
The Taj Mahal was an ivory white marble mausoleum built on the South bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India during the reign of the Islamic Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan(1628-1658) as a monument of love for his departed wife Mumtaz Mahal from 1632-1653 after architectural design by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri for 32 million rupees ($1billion today) with 20,000 artisans. It covers 17 hectares and is 73 m(240 ft ) and receives about 8 million tourists annually.
Fascinated by all these ancient masterpieces which were reference points, five years ago, a young Nigerian entrepreneur Sijibomi Ogundele established Sujimoto Construction to redesign Nigeria within Africa’s luxury landscape by bringing the best construction available in the world to Lagos and other cities across Nigeria. Sujimoto which means excellence in Japanese has never compromised on its quality standards since it commenced operations as it replaces faulty fittings or amenities in its tenants apartments within the first five years.
It has developed game changing projects such as Medici By Sujimoto terraces in Milverton, Ikoyi named after the famous Medici family of Florence which was the architect of the Italian Renaissance that transformed human civilization with intellectual capital and sprung forth creative artists like Michelangelo, widely considered to be the greatest artist of all time. The Medici won the prestigious International Property Award 2017/2018 for Best Residential Development in Nigeria.
Guiliano By Sujimoto, in Africa’s richest neighborhood Banana Island which is redesigning human living standards from the foundation, to its finishing exhilarating luxury of the finest order with its Porcelanosa by world acclaimed Zaha Hadid Sanitary Wares which won the best bathroom collection at the World Built Awards 2018 to smart home features and private elevators in each unit earning early investors over 90 percent returns on investments with guaranteed rental value of about 30 million naira per annum. Integrity is key to its success as it not only doesn’t compromise on the quality of each project but does refund to clients when it fails to deliver at the expected date to clients.
Sujimoto is currently developing the Lucrezia, an architectural wonder which will feature the best condominium in Nigeria with sanitary wares from Zaha Hadid Sanitaries, latest 2.0 Crestron Home Automation which is one of the best in the world, an Imax cinema effect for every residence to experience Hollywood standard cinematic experience, Interactive lobby, standard and convenient crèche, 4 metre floor to ceiling height which gives the royal effect in each room, Olympic size swimming pool, state of the art gym and a Glass Reinforced Concrete Façade which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. The Lucrezia Penthouse will feature a private golf garden, private elevator, private pool on the 12th floor and private gym and upon completion of the structural stage and Structural Integrity Test, it is expected to last for the next 1,000 years which is worthy of commendation in a country saddled with reported cases of buildings collapsing less than 50-100 years after construction.
Sujimoto does Construction As A Service for its clients in Banana Island, Ajah, Ikoyi and Victoria Island and should scale this into a digital platform integrating artificial intelligence, data analytics and mixed reality in order to better understand its existing and gain new clients from across Nigeria with different tastes through predictive, prescriptive and recommendation insights based on various sources of data it will generate in delivering personalized experiences to them. Also, it should launch a Construction Startup Fund to invest in cutting edge technologies transforming real estate which will be developed to transform the real estate industry with accessible, affordable properties for millions of unserved Nigerians.
Its future projects scheduled for 2020 include The Leonardo another tall masterpiece on Banana Island, an African inspired luxury hotel brand, Sujimoto Center, a 6 in 1 commercial space which will be the first of its kind in Ikoyi and Nigeria with a boutique mini mall, a 4,000 event sitting capacity detachable to 1,000 or 500 as the user deems fit, approximately 20,000 square metre of office space, 60 suites for guests lodging, state of the art gym, rooftop pool and lounge and parking space for 1,000 cars.
It is a recipient of various awards as ‘’2019 Bold Initiative In Property Development’’ by the Nigerian Institute of Architects and ‘’Luxury Developer Of The Year’’ at the Nigerian Business Leadership Awards, a globally acknowledged award organized annually by Business Day Media, Africa’s premier business publication. As it looks ahead to another five years, it should be a major contributor to the Nigerian Stock Exchange economic activity.