House of the King: A Place to Heal

An unfortunate side effect of our modern existence is the isolation we tend to feel from one another and even from our own selves.1 Modernity has caused a shift in focus, steer-ing us away from nature and the fundamentals of human experience. Inadvertently, the contemporary individual is in a constant state of stress and social isolation, two of the ma-jor causes of emotional and societal disorientation, which leads to various health chal-lenges today.

Focusing on a contemporary African setting like Nigeria, one possible explanation for this disorientation is the disconnect from a way of life that is natural to them; spiritual, in harmony with their natural environment and their sociocultural way of life due to exter-nal influences like colonialism, trade and globalization. This way of life was reflected in different aspects of the traditional African culture such as dance, music, art and even ar-chitecture.

This thesis intends to rethink our public spaces, specifically those we rely on for spiritual refuge and fellowship with others, to return the focus to ourselves and nature. By firstly investigating and exploring the relationship between the spiritual; art, music, dance, prayer, meditation and healing, the thesis will culminate with a spiritual centre at the heart of Nigeria, Abuja. Inspired by the traditional African culture and its teachings, the spiritual centre will offer a retreat from the struggles of modern life, providing a plat-form for reflection, healing and social Interaction. It will attempt to reconcile the contem-porary Nigerian with their natural environment and inspire a sense of shared identity within the society.

1Says, Mark. “Isolation- An Unfortunate Side Effect of Modernity.”