Description

NEW PARLIAMENT COMPLEX FOR TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CALYPSO CULTURE

The twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is situated in the southeast region of the West Indies.
First settled by Amerindians of South American origins it was then colonized by the Spanish. The islands came under British control in the early 19th century then became independent of British rule on
August 31st 1962. As a nation only 44 years old, Trinidadians and Tobagonians {Trinbagonians} are
very aware of their national identity both culturally {festivals, music, religion, and art} and politically,
as it continues to grow and flourish. An architecture that reflects these developments and seeks its
validity as a reflection of the society and its belief system; while anchored in the development of
contemporary architectural devices informed by local architectural traditions, I believe, is possible.
Designing a New Parliament Building for Trinidad and Tobago will provide an opportunity to explore
this notion.
The following issues are explored in this design:
• Investigation of the possible influence of calypso on architecture.
• Marriage between the site and the structure, and a union between the context and the structure.
• The relation of interior and exterior spaces as a continuous and unified fluid space.
• Concern for qualities of proportion and rhythm and respect for human scale.
• Adapting modern architectural language and strategies to national locus, informed by local
architectural traditions.
To explore and develop an architectural vocabulary and architectural strategies derived from the
calypso culture of Trinidad and Tobago in the design of a Parliament Building rooted in the Genius
Loci of its site and on the contemporary architectural discourse as it relates to
Trinbagonian life.
Combining the Architecture of this new Parliament for Trinidad and Tobago with the symbolism of its
culture and calypso will serve as grounding for it such that it resonates with the spirit of the place and
the spirit of the people. Opportunities will have to be formed for the people to create their own
traditions, as they will be the ones to turn it into a parliament befitting of Trinidad and Tobago.

Designed

2007

Completed

2007

WA Award

NEW PARLIAMENT COMPLEX FOR TRINIDAD & TOBAGO by Vernelle Noel in Trinidad and Tobago won the WA Award Cycle 3. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

poster
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Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel
Image Credit: Vernelle Noel

Other Projects by Vernelle Noel

The Tuskegee Airmen Museum

Vernelle Noel

United States