Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Local building designs lack creativity

Published:Thursday | August 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The inability of a Jamaican-owned company to complete a relatively simple task, building a perimeter fence at National Heroes Park on time and within budget, gives added ammunition as to why we need the Chinese (and other foreign) involvement in our construction sector.

Without strong competition, the transfer and infusion of technology within the construction industry would be minimal. Our construction projects would be unfinished.

We must learn how to compete with the best and brightest. We must learn how to design and create attractive high-quality projects that lift the spirits of the people.

Too many of the new buildings designed and built by Jamaicans are unattractive, for example, the new student housing at the University of the West Indies. Frankly, the buildings look like government housing designs of the late 1960s, early '70s. Just so plain!

Which Jamaican will design and create the new project that stands the test of time like a Devon House? We give a lot of talk about Georgian architecture, yet most of our buildings look like a simple rectangular box. Maybe Spanish Town could be that testing ground for the new Jamaican Georgian architecture?

The Government's decision to transform Morant Bay could be another opportunity for the Jamaican contractors to show real professionalism. While we want Jamaicans to be the primary contractor, we also want the Jamaican people to get value for their money!