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Prime Minister Lauds Jamaican Architects

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Wednesday 10th October 2018: Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, today, officially opened the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) Houses of Parliament Exhibition to the public. The Exhibition taking place at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Downtown Kingston, through to October 24th, is showcasing preliminary architectural designs submitted by 24 teams, represented by licensed Jamaican architects, for the  proposed parliamentary building at National Heroes Park.

Of the 24 entries on display in the Houses of Parliament Design Competition Prime Minister Holness commented on the quality of the submissions while he congratulated the top five designs which will move on to the second stage of the contest.

“The Jamaican people should be enormously proud of what was presented by our architects. They have risen to the challenge,” shared Prime Minister Holness.

The five selected conceptual designs were submitted by teams led by: Mr. Ravi Sittol; Mr. Damian Edmond; Mr. Stephen Facey; Ms. Guenet Anderson and Mr. Evan Williams.

Competition Patron, 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,” said Mr Gill.

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 5 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:

“Virtually without exception, they demonstrated a profound and concerted effort to creatively address the challenges presented by the site, the programme and the symbolic significance of the proposed Houses of Parliament.

The discussions on the different entries stimulated an instructive dialogue around a variety of themes and preoccupations. Many submissions proposed iconic concepts in which the built form served as a symbolic and idealised representation of nationalistic aspiration. Others engaged directly with the landscape of the Park, exploring the possibilities of how a building of national significance could be integrated into a public green space. Other schemes adopted a more traditional and in some instances formal and classical approach to the brief. There were also some notable approaches where competitors adopted radical design strategies in attempting to reconcile the complexities of the challenge.”

The historical Exhibition will remain at the Jamaican Conference Centre until 24th October 2018 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 (UDC) on behalf of the GoJ, will run through to February 2019 when a winning design will be selected. The competition is also granted oversight by a Parliamentary Steering Committee for the entire duration of the project.