© Abre Etteh/ Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition 2009
Recently we came across Abre Etteh‘s work and were immediately impressed not only by its quality, but also by Etteh’s unique approach to architecture. Abre Etteh has won acclaims for two recent proposals for competitions in Japan – winning third prize (3等) at the 2009 Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition and receiving honorable mention (選外佳作賞) at 2010 Fashion Museum in Omotesando Competition last month. Etteh, now 27, is not a qualified architect yet but is someone to keep our eyes on.

© Abre Etteh/ Fashion Museum Omotesando

Tokyo Germs (WWDIS): Have someone in Japan butchered your name already? Tell us how your name is pronounced.

Abre Etteh: I was in Japan a number of years ago and someone did write my name in Kanji. I don’t think they did too bad with the pronunciation. Abre is pronounced Abray (the ‘A’ is the same as in apple). Etteh is pronounced Etay (the first ‘E’ is the same as in egg).

TG: When did you move to the UK from Nigeria?

AE: I moved to the UK at 16, so I’ve been around for 11 years now.

TG: Any architects that you look up to?

AE: I’ve especially been influenced by architects like Peter Zumthor, Sanaa, Nendo, some lesser known architects like the duo Brodsky and Utkin. I’ve been influenced a lot by the likes of Antony Gormley and the works of Studio Ghibli as well.

Abre Etteh’s work