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  • A total of $10 million has been handed over to the top-five entrants of the Government’s Houses of Parliament Design Competition.
  • The presentations were made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony to open the competition’s exhibition of entries at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (October 10).
  • Chosen from 24 submissions by 178 persons, the leading teams were each awarded $2 million for advancing to the second stage of the competition where they will submit more detailed designs by December 18.

A total of $10 million has been handed over to the top-five entrants of the Government’s Houses of Parliament Design Competition.

The presentations were made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony to open the competition’s exhibition of entries at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (October 10).

Chosen from 24 submissions by 178 persons, the leading teams were each awarded $2 million for advancing to the second stage of the competition where they will submit more detailed designs by December 18.

In this phase, the finalists are required to prepare and provide fully developed design plans and models following the guidelines laid out in the competition design brief.

Mr. Holness, in congratulating the participants on their excellent work, pointed out that the competition’s jurors were extremely impressed with the level of aptitude, inventiveness and skill evident in the 24 entries.

“I feel particularly proud as a citizen of this country to witness such a great display of patriotism and the enormous promise of Jamaica’s future architectural prospects,” he said.

Launched in May this year, 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 National Heroes Park, among recreational spaces and gardens.

The Prime Minister said the Government is intent on building a Parliament building that all Jamaicans can be proud of, and noted that putting forward a design competition has brought democracy to the process.

“The design competition was a creative design methodology to help to determine how the Houses of Parliament building will represent Jamaica’s rich heritage while considering the future needs of our society. The look, role and function of the Parliament building will provide a beacon of leadership that we think is prudent to encourage nationalism and signal the sovereignty of our people and the empowering of our State to exercise the will of the people of Jamaica,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that the preliminary designs, which are now on exhibit at the Jamaica Conference Centre, are a representation of the significant value and symbolism of a structure such as the Parliament building, it being the seat of legislative and executive authority of the State.

He reminded that the need for a new Parliament building is not for the comfort of the Parliamentarians, but rather making the Jamaican State more effective.

In the meantime, the top-five teams were led by registered architects Evan Williams, Ravi Sittol, Stephen Facey, Guenet Anderson, and Damian Edmond.

Four additional entries were also given special commendation. These are designs from teams represented by Mark Taylor, Christopher Whyms-Stone, Adrian Smith and David O’Connor.

The exhibition of the 24 architectural designs submitted will be open between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, until October 24. The public can also view all the entries via the competition’s website, www.ourjaparliament.com, and join the online conversation by using the hashtag #ourjaparliament.

The competition, which was officially launched in May this year by the Prime Minister, was open to all registered Jamaican architects or teams consisting of a registered Jamaican architect, based locally or abroad.

Submissions were received locally as well from Jamaicans living in the United Kingdom, Trinidad, Guyana, America, Argentina, Italy, Canada, Serbia, Turkey and Iran.

There will also be a People’s Choice component of the competition where the public will be allowed to vote in January 2019.

The ultimate winner will be awarded a further cash prize of $5 million. This announcement is to be made in February 2019. They will also get the opportunity to work alongside the contractor as part of the implementation team for the project.

The second-place entry will receive an additional $4 million, while the third place will receive an additional $2 million.

Construction of a new Parliament building forms part of the National Heroes Park Redevelopment and Government Campus Project, part of a master plan to redevelop downtown Kingston.