International Journal of Architecture, Arts and Applications

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Documentation of Yorùbá Traditional Institutional Building: The Case of Àfin Irefin

Palaces within the Yorùbá culture are important places that is perceived as the position of power after the Orisas. The Yorùbá town radiates around the Oba’s palace whose architectural style spans years of experiences and cultural elements of identity. Mainly constructed using laterite and other traditionally sourced materials, they have withstood the test of time and worthy of preservation. Remarkably, interaction with outsiders brought about changes in taste and value that tends to influence the built environment of the Yorùbá people. As a result, traditional institutional structures like Yorùbá palaces are gradually changing to vernacular, eclectic or losing their traditional elements. Sadly, the loss of these distinctive architectural elements that differentiates and identify Yorùbá palace architecture could simply translate to loss of history and heritage. To this end, this paper seeks to document the Àfin Irefin in Ibadan. Highlighting the importance of the palace an important traditional institutional building and emphasising the need for documentation, restoration and preservation is the focus of the paper. Utilising a historical and archival research methods, the paper seeks to document the Àfin Irefin of Olubadan and highlight its important architectural elements. Through presentation of findings, the paper emphasises the importance of the structure as a part of Yorùbá heritage that is endangered due to deterioration, change in value and lack of preservation policy.

Architecture, Culture, Documentation, Yorùbá Palace, Preservation

APA Style

Sogbesan Oluwatoyin Zainab, Awonusi Friday Samson. (2022). Documentation of Yorùbá Traditional Institutional Building: The Case of Àfin Irefin. International Journal of Architecture, Arts and Applications, 8(4), 197-205.

ACS Style

Sogbesan Oluwatoyin Zainab; Awonusi Friday Samson. Documentation of Yorùbá Traditional Institutional Building: The Case of Àfin Irefin. Int. J. Archit. Arts Appl. 2022, 8(4), 197-205. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20220804.13

AMA Style

Sogbesan Oluwatoyin Zainab, Awonusi Friday Samson. Documentation of Yorùbá Traditional Institutional Building: The Case of Àfin Irefin. Int J Archit Arts Appl. 2022;8(4):197-205. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20220804.13

Copyright © 2022 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Adedokun A. (2014): Incorporating Traditional Architecture into Modern Architecture: Case Study of Yoruba Traditional Architecture. British Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 11 (1) Pg. 39-45.
2. Anifowose T. and Olatubosun, J. (2020): Significance of Ornamentation in Yoruba Traditional Architecture. International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering (ijasre) Volume 6, Issue 2.
3. Arenibafo, F. E. (2017): The Transformation of Aesthetics in Architecture from Traditional to Modern Architecture: A case study of the Yoruba (southwestern) Region of Nigeria. International Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, Volume 1, pg 35-44. 2017
4. Falade, J. B., 1990. Yorùbá palace gardens. Garden History, pp. 47-56.
5. Flick, U., 2018. An introduction to qualitative research. sage.
6. Gbenro A., (2016): Irefin, Oldest Palace in Ibadan on the Verge of Ruins. The News online newspaper accessed 3rd December, 2021 available at
7. Google maps: accessed 12th Feb 2022.
8. Johnson O. and Johnson S. (1921): The history of the Yorùbá s: from the earliest times to the beginning of the British Protectorate". London: Lowe and Brydone.
9. Jones, D. H., 1968. Signposts to the Yorùbá and Àfins-Yorùbá Culture. A Geographical Analysis. By GJ Afolabi Ojo. University of Ife and University of London Press Ltd., 1966. Pp. 303, plates, maps, tables. 30s.-Yorùbá Palaces. A Study of the Àfins of Yorùbá land. By GJA Ojo. London: University of London Press, 1966. Pp. 110, plates, figures, 12s. 6d. The Journal of African History, 9 (3), pp. 482-484.
10. Nwoko, D., 1978. The Aesthetics of African Art and Culture. New Culture: A Review of Contemporary African Art, 1 (1), pp. 3-4.
11. Obateru O. I. (2003): The Yorùbá City in History: 11th Century to the Present. Penthouse Publications, Ibadan, Nigeria.
12. Ojo, G. A., 1967. Yoruba palaces: A study of Afins of Yorubaland. London: University of London.
13. Osasona, C. O., 2005. Ornamentation in Yoruba folk architecture: a catalogue of architectural features, ornamental motifs and techniques.
14. Oyewale, W., 2020, Irefin Palace will rival Burkingham Palace – Oyo, Punch online newapaper assessed 3rd December 2021 available at
15. Sogbesan O., 2020, Yorùbá Market as an Incontestable Identity: The Case of Oyo Town. The Nigerian Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 1 (1), 21-30.
16. Sogbesan, O., 2021 Essence of Art and Culture of Yorùbá Architecture Through the Works of Demas Nwoko. In T. Adejumo and T. Shittu (Ed) Architectural Confluence: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. (199-214). Lagos: Architecture and Urbanism Hub.
17. Singleton, R. and Straits, B., 2010. Survey research. Approaches to social research, pp. 263-308.
18. Tomori M. A. (2014): The Significance of the New Olubadan Ultra-Modern Palace. Accessed 23rd November, 2021 available at
19. Willett, F. (1967). [Review of Yoruba Palaces; Yoruba Culture, by G. J. Afolabi Ojo]. African Affairs, 66 (265), 363–364.