PM Launches Design Competition for New Parliament Building

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (fourth left), and Chairman, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Senator Ransford Braham (right), unveil a commemorative board for the Houses of Parliament Design Competition, during the official launch of the competition at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston on Thursday (May 17). Also pictured are members of the competition’s Bipartisan Parliamentary Oversight Committee. They are (from left) Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda; and Member of Parliament for Southern Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert. Registered Jamaican architects locally and in the diaspora have a chance to win up to $7 million in the competition.

Story Highlights

  • Registered Jamaican architects locally and in the diaspora have the opportunity to win up to $7 million in the Houses of Parliament Design Competition.
  • The competition was officially launched on Thursday (May 17), by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston, where the new building is to be located.
  • He pointed out that Jamaica has not had a purpose-built designed Parliament building in the 52 years of its political Independence, noting that the current building was originally a municipal building.

Registered Jamaican architects locally and in the diaspora have the opportunity to win up to $7 million in the Houses of Parliament Design Competition.

The competition was officially launched on Thursday (May 17), by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston, where the new building is to be located.

Mr. Holness said the launch is significant, as this is the furthest the vision for a new sovereign building has reached in over 50 years.

He pointed out that Jamaica has not had a purpose-built designed Parliament building in the 52 years of its political Independence, noting that the current building was originally a municipal building.

“Gordon House was always a temporary House of Parliament. Aside from the issue of insufficient space, inadequate parking and facilities to interact and engage with the public, the building itself lacks the stature and functionality of a modern Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Holness encouraged architects to take advantage of the opportunity to be involved in a historic, transformational developmental project that will be executed by Jamaicans for Jamaicans.

“There is no doubt that this Houses of Parliament Design competition will stir national pride among the architects who will be entering the competition. I am also sure that the initiative will give up-and-coming architects the impetus to be the best, whether they are currently studying or looking to start their journey,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the new building will be part of the transformation and redevelopment of downtown Kingston into “a vibrant, enviable and iconic destination”.

He assured that the process will be bipartisan, multisectoral and it will be done in the best interest of all the people of Jamaica.

The concept for the design competition, which is being staged by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), includes a Parliament complex to be located within the confines of the Park, among recreational spaces and gardens.

This competition is open to all registered Jamaican architects or teams consisting of a registered Jamaican architect, whether based locally or abroad.

Only one entry per licensed architect will be accepted. Members of the UDC are ineligible.

Persons can register at www.ourjaparliament.com, and a non-refundable fee of $20,000 is required for registration.

Registration ends on June 14. Entrants can submit designs between July 20 and September 17. They can be uploaded via the website or the hard copies delivered in sealed packages to the UDC’s offices.

The top-five submissions will be selected, each of which will be given an initial $2 million. The winner will receive an additional $5 million. The second place will receive an additional $4 million; while the third place will receive an additional $3 million.

There will also be a people’s choice award, based on the votes of the public.

These designs will also be placed on exhibition at the UDC’s offices, and will be part of travelling exhibits. They will also be available for viewing on the competition website, as well as in the press.

In addition, the museum which is to be established as part of the project, is also expected to house the designs.

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