April 17, 2024

Towry Coker : A Lagosian Journey 

9 min read

Dr. Lanre Towry-Coker is the son of a distinguished Civil Engineer who in the early 60s was the Planning Adviser to the late Malayan Prime Minister, Tunku AbdulRahman.

He was educated at the popular St. Matthias Roman Catholic (Primary) School, Lafiaji, in Lagos, and at the Kingston College, Surrey, in the United Kingdom, where he obtained the GCE ‘O & A’ Levels.

He later received his academic training at the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, (after passing the entrance examination). He then went to Thames University, where he completed his Royal Institute of British Architects’ part 1 exams. He completed his RIBA at II, the NE London, and University.

Dr. L. Towry-Coker, who holds a Post-Graduate qualification in Architecture from the University of North East London, completed his professional training at the World famous Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the United Kingdom (ACI.Arb.) and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (FNIA).

He completed his Ph.D at the Lagos State University with his Thesis: “The Dynamics of Housing in Nigeria up to year 2008 with Lagos State as case study.

A graduate of the renowned Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration (OPM), in the United States of America (which he attended as a full-fledged professional in the course of his brilliant career) and seasoned Architect, who started his own architectural practice in 1976, Dr. L. Towry-Coker has originated prestigious buildings all over Nigeria and has won numerous competitions. He was one of the original planners of Abuja and takes credit for originating the initial concept of the first hotel in the relocated Federal Capital, Abuja Sheraton Hotel (now re-christened Meridien) and won the competition to design the Abuja Conference Centre which was completed.

Not long ago, he was adjudged the best entry in an international competition (which attracted a total of 110 entries) to design the World Bank Resident Mission Headquarters, and Residences in Abuja, which was Commissioned. He has in his professional career designed and supervised several major buildings all over Nigeria.

A past Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and International Relations Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA). Dr. L. Towry-Coker has led numerous delegations of the NIA to different types of organised parallel international and regional professional bodies. He was NIA’s representative at the world photo – voltaic association arranged by the International Union of Architects and led the Institute’s delegation to a forum held in Australia under the auspices of the Commonwealth Institute of Architects. In 1997, he was the head of a Nigerian mission to the United States Building Business Symposium.

His public sector career has been no less eventful and memorable. He was Chairman Lagos State Waste Disposal Board, and was the Chairman of the Lagos State Luna Parks. He was also privileged to serve as Chairman of the Lagos State Investment Promotion Council and Chairman of the Technical Committee on Open Spaces.

He is an ex-member of the State Tenders Board. In 1999, Dr. L. Towry-Coker was appointed the pioneer Honourable Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State. He served as a full cabinet member for four years, before returning to the private sector in 2003. He was a Member of the Presidential Committee on Housing and Urban Development, inaugurated by the President Commander-in –Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2001-2002. During his tenure as Commissioner, he completed no less than four large abandoned estates and initiated another fifteen housing estates in Lagos State.

Dr. L. Towry-Coker entered partisan politics in 1992 when he contested the Lagos Central Senatorial Seat on the platform of the former Social Democratic Party (SDP). He has over the years authored different publications on wide-ranging topical subjects which are of timeless relevance.

These include ‘Towards a Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency’ (a seminar blue print). Low-income Housing, Technology Transfer: The Construction Dimension and The Metro –Line Affair (a review / plan for mass Transportation in Lagos State), among others.

A much travelled individual whose professional practice has taken him to no fewer than 36

countries scattered all over six continents, he is a member of the Nigerian-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).

A founder member of the Nigerian-German Business Council, he is also a member of the Nigerian Finnish Chamber of Commerce. He belongs to the boards of a number of companies and bodies including charitable organisations like the Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation, Centre for Conflict Resolution and the Centre for the Promotion of an Industrial Society.

Dr Lanre Towry-Coker is somewhat of an authority on renewable energy resources, having negotiated the first ever carbon credit deal in Nigeria, around 2013.

He is currently working on a couple of projects regarding renewable energy in different parts of the country.

An investment strategist expert , he recently hosted a Vietnamese business delegation in Lagos to strengthen the present administration’s vision on promoting international investments upon our shores.

A warm and outgoing personality who in 1984 was nominated Outstanding Young Person (OYP) of the metropolis by the Jaycees (diminution of the Junior Chamber of Commerce International), a non-governmental organization, Dr. L. Towry-Coker is a member of quite a number of charitable, social and sports clubs and organizations, notably the Lions Club International, Metropolitan Club (Lagos), Ikoyi Club (Lagos), Polo Club (Lagos), The Lagos Motor Boat Club, and Yoruba Tennis Club. Architect, Urban –Cum- Transportation Planner, Project Manager and Author all rolled into one, Dr. L. Towry-Coker, with a knowledge of French, German, Russian enjoys writing, researching and organizing in addition to playing badminton, golf, squash-rackets and tennis occasionally.

He is happily married with three children, all of whom are graduates from prestigious overseas Universities like Reading University (UK), Warwick University (UK), and the Manchester University Institute of Science and Technology (UK).

Below is His BioData:

Name: DR. Lanre Towry-Coker. RIBA, FNIA. Dipl. Arch, ACI. Arb. OPM (HARVARD), Ph.D (Geography and Planning)

Date of Birth: 01/November /1944

Profession: Architect/Urban Planning /Transportation Planner/Project Manager.

Special Skills: Financial + Turnkey Negotiation relating to construction, New Technologies and Technology Adaptation, Educational Technology .Renewable energy

Most Significant Started his own Architectural practice (TCA) in 1976,

Achievement(s): Developed Abuja Sheraton Hotel (Now Sofitel) from scratch i.e. original concept for first Hotel, in new capital. In 1992 won International competition to design the World Bank Resident Mission Headquarters and Residences in Abuja out of 110 local and international Entries

Education: St. Mathias School, Lafiaji, Lagos.

Kingston College, Surrey-UK.

Architectural Association School of Architecture London(Class of 1964)

Thames University, London.

University of N.E. London.

Royal Institute of British Architects. Part 2 and 3

Harvard University, U.S.A. Graduate School of Business Administration (OPM).

Academic Qualifications: DIPL, ARCH – University of N. East London (UK).

Postgraduate, Transportation Planning,

RIBA – Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (U.K.)

Ph.D Geography and Planning

Professional FNIA – Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects.

Qualifications: RIBA – Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

A.C.Iarb – Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators .

Mid-Career Graduate, Harvard University Graduate.

Training: School of Business Administration

(OPM) Programme (USA).1984 -1987

Professional Chairman Public Relations Committee. Nigerian Institute of Architects.1979-1981

Assignments: Chairman – International Relations Committee.

Nigerian Institute of Architects.

He has been an Arbitrator/Umpire in construction claims.

He has been on numerous delegations for the Nigerian Institute of Architects.

NIA Representative on Solar Symposium. (World photo-voltaic Association)

International Union of Architects. (IVA)

NIA Was part of delegation to RIBA Led NIA delegation to Australia Commonwealth Institute of Architects.

Led Nigerian Delegation to U.S.A Building Business Symposium in 1997.

Governmental Chairman – Lagos State Waste Disposal Board (1984-85)( First introduced Biodegradable bags


Chairman – Lagos State Luna Parks (1985)

Member-Lagos State Tenders Board

Chairman Lagos State Commission open spaces

Honourable Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State (1999-2003)

Member – Presidential Technical Committee on Housing and Urban Development (2001-2002)

Member .National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan (NIIMP)


1. ‘Low Income Housing’ for the Nigerian Institute of Architects Publication Journal.

2. ‘Lagos State, What Next’

3. ‘Towards a Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency’ (Original guideline for LASEPA)

4. ‘Technology Transfer. The Construction Dimension’

5. The need for Continental Cooperation’ Symposium on African Architectural Education.

6. ‘The Metro Line Affair’ (A review and plan for Mass Transportation in Lagos State.

7. ‘Global imperatives of good governance’.

8. ‘Alternative Energy Sources for Housing’.

9. Mega Cities: ‘Nightmare or change for Developing Countries’. A paper presented at the International Conference on Mega Cities, in Hanover/Germany.

10. Presented a paper on critical issues in the Provision of Housing and Shelter in Nigeria.

11. Tribute to Late Oba (Dr.) Olawale Odeleye- Past President

Commonwealth Association of Architects.

12. Send ‘Arnie’ to Baghdad.

13. ‘Megacities are they sustainable in developing countries?

14. “Housing Policy and The Dynamics of Housing Delivery in Nigeria: LAGOS STATE AS A CASE STUDY .PUBLISHED BY Makeway PRESS. Ibadan SECOND EDITION

Selected Projects: Offices

1.Savannah Bank (Former Bank of America) Headquarters, Lagos (Competition Win)

2. Umarco Headquarters, Apapa

3. Blackwood Hodge Headquarters, Badagry Exp. Way

4. Guaranty Trust Bank, Victoria Island

5. Swedish Embassy, Victoria Island

6. Fountain Trust Merchant Bank, Victoria Island

7. Nichemtex offices, Ikorodu.

8. World Bank Resident Mission, Offices, Residences Abuja FCT. (Competition win) (Competition win out of 110 competitors!)

9. AIB Plaza, Victoria Island (Competition win)

10. Shestco Administrative Complex, Abuja FCT

11. Angolan Embassy, Victoria Island (Chancery & Residences)

12. Lagos State Water Corporation Headquarters, Lagos.

13. The Ark Towers, Pan Ocean Oil Head Office, Ligali Ayorinde St. Victoria Island. (Virgin Atlantic)

14. UAC office development, Abuja FCT

15. Albix biscuits H.Q – Isolo Expressway.


1. NNPC Staff Quarters, Mosimi, Ogun State

2. Barclays Bank Staff Quarters, Satellite Town, Lagos.

3. Idejo Close Development, Victoria Island.

4. UAC Duplexes Development, Glover Rd. Ikoyi

5. UAC Duplexes Development, Cameron Rd. Ikoyi

6. Numerous Individual houses, villas for private clients

7. Mobil Oil Residential Complex, Lekki (Competition win)

8. Shell Luxury Apartment, Ikoyi (Competition win)

9. Residential Development for Mr. Rasheed, Dacca, Bangladesh

10. Angola Embassy Residences.

11. World Bank, Resident Representative Residence, Abuja (Competition win)

12. World Bank Expatriate Residences, Abuja, FCT (Competition win)

13. Canadian High Commission, Renovation, Ikoyi

14. Spanish Embassy Renovation, Victoria Island.

15. Residential Development for NICON, Kaduna


1. Chemical & Allied Products Ltd. Factory (Formerly ICI), Apapa

2. Farmex Pharmaceutical Factory, Otta, Ogun State.

3. Singer Refrigerators Factory, Otta, Ogun State

4. Autotech Factory, Isolo Expressway, Lagos.

5. Blackwood Hodge Factory, Badagry Exp. Rd.

Commercial Developments

1. Abuja (now Meridian) Sofitel Hotel, TCA (Competition Win)

2. International Conference Centre, Abuja FCT (Competition Win)

3. Envoy Hotel, Lekki

Mixed Development

1. Fadco Plaza, Victoria Island

2. Towry close offices and apartments.


1. Blackwood Hodge Training Centre, Badagry Exp. Way.

2. Shell Petroleum Training School, Warri. (Proposed)


1. Ikoyi Club 1938 Sports Complex, Ikoyi


1. Omnium Gatherum “University of Lagos (First “Space Frame roof Offices

1. UACN Property Development Company Ply. Phase 2, Abuja


1. Abuja Sofitel (Now Meridian) TCA led German/Dutch Consortium)

2. Hotel Development at Oniru Layout, Lekki.

Countries Visited:

*Africa: Kenya, Egypt, Tokyo, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Seychelles, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, South Africa.

*Europe – UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain.

*North America – USA, Antigua, Anguilla, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Caribbean Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad.


S. America – Brazil,

Asia: Singapore, S.E. Asia – Thailand, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Israel,Dubai, Turkey.

Languages: English, German, Russian, Latin, French.


Other Interests: Member – Lions Club International

Member – Metropolitan Club, Lagos

Member – Ikoyi Club, Lagos

Member – Polo Club, Lagos

Member – Lagos Motor Club

Member- Trustee-United Way Nigeria-Us based charity

President –IGLSA-Institute for Governance and Leader Studies in Africa.

Other Activities: Member Nigerian Spanish Chamber of Commerce

Member Nigerian ASEAN Chamber of Commerce

Member Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce

Member of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs

Member, Nigeria Finnish Business Council.

Founder Member /Nigerian South African Business Council.

Member .Nigeria German Business Council

Chairman – Governing Council Association for International Business. Nigeria Chapter.

Member- IGLSA – Institute For Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (NGO)

Has been nominated OYP (Outstanding Young person of the Metropolis) by Jaycees 1984.

Entered the race for the Senatorial District of Lagos Central Senatorial District in 1992 under the defunct SDP.

Appointed First Honourable Commissioner of Housing. Lagos State Ministry of Housing. 1999 to 2003.

A Member of the Presidential Committee on Housing and Urban Development, inaugurated by the President Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Member. National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan (NIIMP)-2013

Business Activities: Board Members in various companies

Board Member Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation/Centre For conflict Resolution and Centre for the Promotion of an Industrial Society.

CHARITY/CRS United way Nigeria – Trustee of a based charity organization operation globally, with emphasis on poverty alleviation employment creation, and gender issues



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *