Jamaican Institute of Architects (JIA) 2014 Awards, overall winner Governor General’s Award – the Evelyn Mitchell Infant School by Taylor Architects.

The Award for Public and Institutional design as well as the Overall Merit Award was given to the Evelyn Mitchell Infant School, Top Hill Clarendon designed by Taylor Architects.

Taylor Architects were established in 2001 by the managing partnership:Mark A. B. Taylor, M.Arch, JIA and Susan J. Brewster Taylor, Dipl.Arch.,SIA both Registered Architects. Danielle Lazarus, M.Arch, R.A., JIA a full time architect, completes the senior professional team. For more information on the work of this award-winning Jamaican practice please visit www.taylorarchitectsja.com

View the plan  and the cross section of the winning entry,  the Evelyn Mitchell Infant School, designed by Taylor Architects. The judges felt  it was well deserved as the school’s design was the most meaningful, unique and prestigious design that was submitted for the 2014 Jamaican Institute of Architects Awards.

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A short history of the Governor General’s Award in Architecture  

The Governor General’s Award in Architecture has been in existence since 1963, conceived by the Jamaica Society of Architects (JSA). The objective of the Award included the enhancement of the cultural life of Jamaica and stimulating public awareness of proper planning and design.

It was intended to be a first step in lobbying for a law governing the registration of Architects in Jamaica.

The first Award in 1963 was open to all members of the JSA. Twenty three projects ranging from low cost housing solutions to the National Stadium were entered. Ramon Corona Martin, Vice President of the International Union of Architects (UIA) was invited to assess the entries.

At the end of the process, the National Stadium designed by Wilson Chonga and Associates was awarded the Governor’s Award for 1963.

Jamaican Institute of Architects 2014 Awards for Excellence, Categories, winners and the Judges, Prof. Alberto Perez-Gomez and Prof. Ralph Mills-Tettey comments:

Category 1- Remodelling/Refurbishing

 Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre designed by UDC. Good quality of the new construction, the judges felt this building could make a significant contribution to Jamaican Culture.

Category 2- Commercial “A”- up to 1,000 M2

 Mary Brown’s Texaco Station designed by  Plexus Limited. As a service station it makes an effort to contribute to the town, enhancing its corner site. Good detailing and “special” very tall roof. It expresses its character in a joyful and light-hearted manner.

 Redbones the Blues Café designed by  Design Collaborative Ltd. Honorary mention for its remarkable evening atmosphere contributing to Jamaican culture in the performing arts.

Category 3- Commercial “B”- over 1,000 M2

 Guardsman Armoured LTD by Design Collaborative Ltd . A very interesting building solution in a tight site and complex program. The jury felt the spaces provided, green and playful, contribute to the well-being of users in a high-stress environment. The building expresses its character lightly, allowing for a multiplicity of readings.

Category 4- Residential “A” multi-family

 Freeport, Montego Freeport, St. James designed by Clifton Yap Architects. Interesting mix of units within a gated community, signalling a more diverse social mix with excellent design and detailing in the public areas shared by users.

Category 5- Residential “B” single-family

 Concept House “Lookout” designed by Cornerstone Design Ltd. Very challenging site handled in assertive and effective manner. Local materials and integration of family groves and work is remarkable. Great sectional concept, interesting views and detailing.

 Honorary Mention- Private Residence Lot 15 Lagoons, Montego Bay, designed by Clifton Yap Architects. Layered treatment of relationships between inside and outside, very accomplished.

 Honorary Mention- Hidden Bay, Runaway Bay St. Ann designed by Kingston 10 Architects. Twelve guests high-end inn , although not a residential building, the judges were impressed by the remarkable treatment of the waterfront and views.

Category 6- Resorts Development

 Trident Hotel and Villas designed by Marvin Goodman & Associates/Atelier Vidal Ltd. Excellent resolution of public areas and rooms. The fashionable “infinity” pools here have a “middle ground” in the landscape a special feature. Interesting interiors, modern feel of harmony with the landscape (not sentimental like in other traditional resorts).

Honorary Mention, Goldeneye Resort & Spa, Oracabessa designed by Kingston 10 Architects. For its remarkable treatment of the landscape and diverse housing options.

Category 7- Public and Institutional

Evelyn Mitchell Infant School, Top Hill, Clarendon designed by Taylor Architects. A very sensitive building, informed by a pedagogical ideal and care for the children. The treatment of the difficult site is excellent. Execution had  its problems- the area is very remote- but this is compensated by the social value of the building and its potential contribution to the future of Jamaica.

Honorary Mention to the Hope Zoo designed by Design Collaborative Ltd . For its treatment of landscape and threshold  framing  the zoo with the distant mountains.

Category 8- Heritage

New Seville Great House, Seville Estate, St Ann designed by Kingston 10 Architects. One nomination, not meritorious according to the judges. Good restoration of the building but the heritage value for the present is not clear, particularly since the interior museography detracts completely from the qualities of spaces. A richer program of re-use might be desirable in such cases so that memories of the past become relevant to the present. A living building, rather than a museum may be preferable.


Best Use of Concrete –  Medical Building, University of West Indies

Best Use of Lumber – No Award

Best Use of Metal –  Medical Building, University of West Indies

Best Use of Colour –  Regional Administration of the University of West Indies.

Sustainability Innovation Award –  Hope Zoo, Kingston, by Design Collaborative Ltd

Special Award– For the creation of innovative and appropriate atmosphere to a particular use.  The Phillips Residence for its compelling domestic atmosphere and special relationship to the environment – the elements like wind, rain and sun are poetically present in daily living.


Jurors Choice among the Awards of Merit for Governor General’s Award –  Evelyn Mitchell Infant School, Top Hill, Clarendon designed by Taylor Architects.


4 Responses to "Jamaica’s Excellence in Architecture Awards "

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