Beyond the Academics: Top 5 Most Beautiful Faculties in OAU

Edited by: Ayotomiwa Omotosho

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) often boasts of being ‘Africa’s most beautiful campus.’ You won’t disagree if you’ve had the time to explore the beautiful structures embedded in the Great Ife walls. I have had seven years to explore the campus, and I must say, I agree, this campus is gloriously beautiful.

From simple open-air design with seemingly endless walkways to complex, jaw-dropping buildings, Obafemi Awolowo University has it all. In no particular order, let’s dive into 5 of its most beautiful faculties.

Faculty of Pharmacy

The faculty of pharmacy is known for two things on campus. The first lies in its rigorous academic activities, consistently ranking among OAU’s most difficult faculties. The second is much more interesting; the red bricks used on the walls of the faculty’s building. 

The red bricks are so popular that any open-air photo shoot on campus is not complete without shots with them. Interestingly, the faculty was mostly a bland 2 story building for quite a while until renovations and the new building completed in 2014 breathed new life into the faculty.

Right from the entrance, you are greeted by a short walkway, both sides of which are lined by flowers. The horticulture masterpiece seems to have an invisible wall surrounding it because you will never see them untrimmed. 

The walkway leads to a simple monument in the shape of a mortar and pestle with the letters Rx painted on it. These are surrounded by 3 atoms in orbit. The monument speaks to 3 things dear to a pharmacist. 

The buildings here are no white-washed graves. Their insides are just as beautiful as the outside. They have a central part surrounded by office spaces, well-equipped classrooms, and laboratories. This design gives the space a cozy yet airy feeling. The roof in the central portion is covered such that natural light comes in, adding to the sense of spaciousness to the building. 

College of Health Sciences

If the beauty of pharmacy’s buildings is in their compactness, the ones in the college of health sciences have their beauty in their vastness. The buildings here are unapologetically large; they have to be. This college houses 3 faculties, namely Clinical Sciences, Dentistry, Basic Medical Sciences, and the Institute of Public Health. 

The college of health science is best viewed from the top. It has two main wings – the north and south wings. The north wing has 3 levels, and each level has a lab, rows of offices, and small seminar rooms. The south wing has 4 levels due to the topography of the land, with each level having the same layout as the north. 

Long-covered walkways connect both wings on both sides. Between both wings are round blocks of administrative offices, a buttery, and a restaurant. It has a walkway covered by lush trees and flowers on either side.  

On the far right are three round lecture theatres aptly named Health Sciences Lecture Theatres (HSLT for short). All three feature lights, fans, projectors, and soft comfy seats. Thanks to the provost who served between 2017 and 2021, maintenance and renovations on these buildings were carried out promptly every six months. 

Personally, I believe you have to visit the College at night to behold its full beauty. The lighting there brings out its lovely view, and you can’t but open your mouth in awe. 

Faculty of Technology

The faculty of technology is one of the oldest on campus. Therefore, it makes sense that one of the oldest buildings on campus belongs to them. The building in question is the famous “Spider” building situated at the far end of campus. Spider houses 3 departments – Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Material Science and Engineering. The building has several classrooms, laboratories, and offices on its 3 or 4 floors (depending on where you are standing).

Like the buildings in the college of health sciences, the true beauty of the Spider building is best appreciated from an aerial shot. From that view, the Spider building shows a striking resemblance to, you guessed it, a spider. 

I know that might freak arachnophobes out, but this building is stunning to look at from an aerial view. Despite its age, OAU’s spider building remains tasteful like a bottle of fine wine.

Faculty of Education

The faculty of education is nestled in the middle of campus. It ranks as one of the busiest faculties in OAU. However, what makes the faculty of education beautiful is not the sheer number of students it has. Instead, it is the building the faculty calls home. That building is also among the oldest buildings on campus, built 9 years after the inception of the University. 

Designed by Israeli architect, Eldar Sharon, son of Arieh Sharon – OAU’s original architect, the building is built like a pyramid, albeit upside down. The design aims to improve airflow around and within the building. Yeah, I don’t get it either. What I do get is that the shape of the building is stunning. It simply defies the laws of physics.

The design is so intriguing that the faculties of law, social sciences, and administration all tried to replicate the faculty of education’s upside-down pyramid. 

Faculty of Environmental Design and Management (EDM)

In 2019, Obafemi Awolowo University uncovered a 300-meter long building. The building is situated behind the faculty of pharmacy and the Natural History Museum. Actually, it is longer than both buildings combined. In fact, rumor has it that it is West Africa’s longest building. 

The building belongs to the faculty of environmental design and management, which includes the department of Architecture, Building, Estate Management, Fine Arts, Quantity Surveying, and Urban and Regional Planning. The faculty originally had its old site behind the faculty of Agriculture for decades. The old building is still in service, but plans are to completely move the faculty to the new building. 

I feel this unique building was tailor-made for the faculty. I mean, it owns the department of architecture; that’s has got to stand for something.

Beauty, they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. However, OAU has remained Africa’s most beautiful campus for years because every beholder can identify with something. It also has details and peculiarities that everyone can appreciate. 

So, whether you are a fresher or a returning student, or just visiting a friend, I implore you to take some time out of your busy schedule and visit these faculties. Trust me when I say the thrilling experience will be worthwhile.

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