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DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF THE NATURAL LAND FORM AND FEATURES OF A TOURIST HOLIDAY RESORT CENTRE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There urge in man to discover the unknown, to explore new and peculiar places, to find a change in the environment and to have new experiences are some of the basic reasons why people move from their location to other places Robinson, (1976). The intrinsic connection that exists between man and nature is indeed one that cannot be overemphasized. Man’s inquisitive nature leads him to explore and unravel such mysteries that nature holds in her coffers, which keeps him bound to its beauty and be stores on him a sense of awe and sensation whenever he is within the natural environment.
Our natural environment, with some of these peculiar features of nature can be developed to be explored through tourism, which is now a fast growing sector in different nations today. Initially, tourist centres, as well as places with high tourism potentials were mostly neglected, but have become a major focus point of most economy because of its advantages as it improves the economy, provides means for relaxation, brings humans to a close interaction with the natural environment, it creates and open ways for development of places.
An average human have a natural desire to relax and relieve himself from the stress that life has imposed upon him due to his daily activities, especially in this so-called golden age where our world today finds itself, which is responsible for the various depressions of the society. Hence he looks forward to a place where he finds comfort in nature, an environment where he is able to live his normal life and still have a feel of or be in contact with the natural environment.
Nigeria is one of the richly blessed nations in the world, especially in Africa, with high tourism potentials existing in most areas within the country, giving its diverse natural features and land forms ranging from beautiful waterfalls, rivers, natural lakes and streams to beautiful massive rocks and stones, pure vegetation, stunning land forms and topography, and a lot monuments that reflects the cultural values of the people and also tells of the ancient origin and history of different cultures, traditions, places and activities. These features are in a way scares in many other regions in the world, and hence, serve as an advantage as it serves as opportunity to generate income, encourage even development, promote tourism based rural enterprises, generate employment and accelerate rural urban integration and cultural exchange. Tourism have a large impact on bio-physical environment, and most of Nigeria’s natural landscapes and features are eco-sensitive areas and exploring them as tourist destinations would be of great advantage.
The world today is involved with a lot of activities in which our nature is being tampered with and re-modified to a great extent that disrupts the beauty and comfort of the natural environment. It is indeed necessary to explore and harness the natural environment within us, and one of the means in which this can be achieved is through tourism. Tsui (1999) stated that the assets of nature can and ought to be an integral aspect ofarchitecture, and that within the beauty of nature is an intelligence that is eternal. Furthermore, Olgyay (1981) postulated that the desirable procedure in design would be to work with the forces of nature and not against them, and to exploit their potentialities to create better conditions of life.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Traditionally, tourist centres are attracted commonly to the least developed regions, and hence the desires and expectations of a tourist when visiting such centres is thus a boundless exciting new experience that is intrinsic and connected to its location, the people in such places, traditional and its cultural differences of the place.
However, many of the resorts do not bare the interest for the tourists and the people of the local communities as it ought, its sometimes planned and designed in a way that there is no harmony between the natural landforms and features such as the facilities. Hence, the major expectation that attracts people to resorts is being ignored. Therefore, this research shall focus on the means of planning and designing a holiday resort to harmonize and blend with its natural site.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This study is aimed at evaluating the natural land form and features of a resort environment, and integrating it in the design of a tourist holiday resort.
The objectives are:
Study of existing resort environments where nature is harnessed
Evaluate the different natural features and land forms that exist in the resort environment through a site analysis
To determine the means in which natural environment and features can be integrated into a resort design
To produce a prototype design for a holiday resort in Jebba-North, Niger state.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Tsui (1999) maintained that the qualities of nature can and ought to be an integral aspect of ourarchitecture, and that within the beauty of nature is an intelligence that is eternal. Without excessively tampering with the natural features of the environment, a space can be created within it to satisfy the activities of man. Our natural environment often times is being altered and distorted greatly by man in order to achieve his innovations. This has caused an unbalance in the eco system and also leads to a lot of manmade features existing around us. This study is then justified based on the fact that it is important for us to preserve our natural environment and also live and plan our activities with the inclusion of nature, and also it the importance of harnessing nature and its features and integrating it into the activities of man.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
The scope of this study involves providing a resort design that integrates natural features in it, and promotes relaxation and also have the natural environment fully incorporated into it, without neglecting the proper management of public space. The resort centre will provide facilities such as
An events centre
Space for some outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, outdoor games and sporte
Restaurants and shops.
The main limitation posed to this research is the inability of the researcher to gain full access into most resort centres in the country for research purpose, especially the interior spaces, due to the present security challenge, and this might limit the precision in the data representation.
1.6 CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
This research study is meant to establish that nature is an important aspect of architecture. This study hence brings people’s minds towards the importance and the positive effect of nature of man, and the necessity to blend the natural environment and natural features existing in a particular environment into the built environments. This research is to bring to lime light the importance of blending the features of a given site into architectural constructions and building structures. It will also serve as basis for further research in this area. On completing this research project, knowledge should be contributed through. This research will also aid a clearer insight into the understanding and means of applying natural elements in architecture and also proper integration of the building design with the natural environment.
1.7 STUDY AREA
Nature once held a secret. “…a century of heroic deeds… a monumental stargazing cenotaph, a rocky spectre that spawned as much folk tales as its true origin…all guarded by an epic river that seemed to outlive man himself”, a place worthy to be called natures curator; Jebba is a town in Kwara State, one of the 36 states in Nigeria and its location is on coordinates 9°9′14″N 4°48′43″E. The population of Jebba was estimated to be 22,411 by the NCC in 2007. The town is comprised of two main parts which are Jebba North and South; Jebba south falls under Kwara State while Jebba North is in Niger State. The major occupations practiced by the people in Jebba are trade, fishing and farming, then a few make up the civil servant population. The Nigerian paper mill, which is the largest paper mill in the whole of West Africa, is situated in this great town, as well as the Jebba dam, which happens to be one of Nigeria’s three Hydro Electric Dams. It also has a monument of Mungo Park; in remembrance of the shipwreck which took place there, while he tried to trace the source of the Niger, located on the hill side along the river NigerBridge. There are also beautiful views of the historic Niger River from different angles, and many other environmental features. There have been some effort to promote Jebba as a tourism destination, as they can take advantage of the monuments, the rock hill called Juju Rock has also attracted considerable interest of rock climbers and tourists, the river Niger present, and the vast natural environmental features.
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