University of Technology Cultural Centre | Young Architecture + Design

Competition Project

University of Technology Cultural Centre

2004 / Mona, St.Andrew, Jamaica

The project’s location in a highly charged  geographical and historical context inspired two readings: One, that the site, resting 200 metres above sea level, occupies an intermediate terrain between the Blue Mountains and Hope River  to the Northeast and Botanical Gardens to the West; and two, that its history as a sugar plantation, from which Kingston’s water supply was first harnessed and issued, bestows on it the status of cultural and technological hallowed ground.  The  design was conceived as a series of ‘stepping stones’, celebrating the progression of Jamaica’s culture from plantocracy to independent nation – symbolized by the site’s current function as a centre of learning for the Caribbean region.  Massive, irregular volumes of varying size are arranged along and open up to a courtyard, the focus of outdoor activity.  The spaces between act as tributaries, funneling people toward the yard from the periphery.  At one corner, a reflecting pool is placed around the base of three defunct storage silos as a way of introducing a conversation between the new performance and classroom buildings and the history of the site.

 

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