Holness says Jamaicans should be proud of their architects

Senior staff reporter

Friday, October 12, 2018

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that Jamaicans should be proud of the entries from their architects for the Houses of Parliament Design Competition.

“The Jamaican people should be enormously proud of what was presented by our architects. They have risen to the challenge,” Holness said as he declared open an exhibition featuring the five selected conceptual designs for the Parliament building at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Wednesday.

Of the 24 entries on display at the exhibition, five were chosen to move on to the second stage of the contest.

The five teams selected were led by architects Ravi Sittol, Damian Edmond, Stephen Facey, Guenet Anderson and Evan Williams, all of whom are registered in Jamaica, as is required by the rules of the competition.

Patron of the competition, renowned Jamaican architect Gordon Gill, spoke to the level of the work submitted and shared his enthusiasm for the second stage of the competition.

“The works on exhibit here today are thoughtful and inspiring. It excites me to think of what we will witness for the next submission deadline on December 18, which will require our finalists to provide more detailed three-dimensional works,” he told guests at the function.

A total of $10 million was handed over to the top-five entrants of the competition. The presentations were made by Prime Minister Holness, during the ceremony to open the competition's exhibition at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Chosen from 24 submissions by 178 people, the leading teams were each awarded $2 million for advancing to the second stage of the competition where they will submit more detailed designs by December 18.

The designs on display are from local Jamaican interests and Jamaicans living in the UK, Trinidad, Guyana, America, Argentina, Italy, Canada, Serbia, Turkey and Iran.

Also of note are designs by Mark Taylor, Christopher Whyms-Stone, Adrian Smith and David O'Connor, who did not place in the top five but receieved special commendations from the competition's panel of jurors.

All entries were judged based on concept and theory; architectural expression, language and form as well as the design's relationship to context (urbanity). The report from the jurors exemplifies the overall range, diversity and quality of the entries. As quoted in the jury's report:

The historical exhibition will remain at the Jamaican Conference Centre until October 24, and will be open between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays, before going on tour at locations across the country.

The Houses of Parliament Design Competition, managed by the Urban Development Corporation on behalf of the government, will run through to February 2019 when the winning design will be selected.

The competition is also granted oversight by a Parliamentary Steering Committee for the entire duration of the project.

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