Caribbean architects are some of the most creative individuals in the world. They have helped design a number of landmark buildings, including the Royal Palace of Saint Lucia and the White House of the United States of America. As a result of these projects, many of the top architects in the world have come to the Caribbean.
Classic Revival by Caribbean architects evolved from aspirational goals, local building materials, and a variety of cultural influences. As a result, the style has been influenced by the brickwork of Europe, the natural fibers of the region, and the architectural styles of the Mediterranean. This paper demonstrates the significance of architectonic syncretism in the cultural landscape of the Caribbean. It also presents a historical framework to deconstruct sub-categories within the architectural heritage of the Caribbean.
Caribbean architecture is characterized by a profusion of shapes and articulation. Buildings are arranged purposefully, creating small courtyards and passageways. Asymmetrical design is common and the materials used are usually wood or stone.
The shotgun is a term used for a structural type of house. Originally from the Caribbean, the house is a long, narrow one-story dwelling. It consists of a number of rooms arranged front to back with no hallways.
Shotguns have been found in the Caribbean, Haiti, and the American South. A few of them are still standing in rural Haiti, but most have fallen into disuse. They have also appeared in interior Southern cities such as Louisville, Kentucky, and New Orleans.
While the origins of the shotgun are debated, the name does refer to a simple but clever design. The structure is designed to be one-story with a rear room that is intended to be the kitchen.
Cane Garden Plantation
The Cane Garden Plantation is located in St. Thomas and St. Michael. It was a sugar plantation during Danish ownership of the islands in the 19th century. Today it is restored by Richard Jenrette. Located on a 120 foot knoll, it provides panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.
The Cane Garden Plantation's facade is notable for its raised plaster quoins. These architectural adornments were fashionable in the Caribbean during the eighteenth century. Sash windows are also still in use in the plantation.
The great house is the crown jewel of any estate. Typically, the two story structure is made of stone or wood. It is a symbol of the economic power of sugar cane in the Caribbean. It is often associated with the country of Jamaica, but is not necessarily unique to the island.
Caribbean architects are required to make certain buildings are designed to withstand the elements. For low lying Caribbean islands, they have to raise their buildings to minimize damages. With this in mind, Robert Towell, a Caribbean architect has made it his mission to create architectural masterpieces that stand the test of time.
Architects in the Caribbean create style that fits the culture, climate and environment. Towell's designs are clean, airy and bright. He prefers streamlined, clean lines and the absence of intricate embellishments.
One of his most striking projects is a home in the Grand Cayman Islands. He worked with the owners of this property to design an ultra-modern home with a Spanish-style aesthetic. The house features a third level observation deck that provides a birds-eye view of the courtyard, pool and canal. This project also has a hidden ground-level stair tower.
Located on Smith Bay in St. Thomas, Springline Architects is one of the largest design-build firms in the US Virgin Islands. The company has recently moved into its new office building, which received LEED Platinum certification.
Springline Architects is a full service architectural firm that specializes in resort, commercial and residential designs. Their motto is to make their designs fit the context of the area they are in. They take into account the local climate, terrain, and culture to create spaces that suit the needs of their clients. In addition to LEED certification, Springline also ensures that their work is socially responsible.
One of their most impressive achievements was designing the island's first LEED Platinum certified office building. This particular building boasts a number of innovations including photovoltaic solar panels on the roof. It uses only 30 percent of the energy a standard building consumes.