Celebrating 25 years: Marketplace Sint-Maarten

We are sharing some of our old projects like this square on Sint-Maarten, for our 25th anniversary. It was the first public project of Lyongo Juliana on Sint-Maarten. Lyongo designed this square in 1995. Originally the design was intended to be there for only 6 months. That period turned into 6 years.

Six weeks after obtaining his diploma at TU Eindhoven, Lyongo flew to St. Maarten. He started working at Plan-D2, but after a few months he joined Virgon Plan Services. He worked as an architect for three years, to contribute to the reconstruction of the island after Hurricane Luis. “The market square was my first project as an architect, which I designed while working at Plan-D2.”

My early days as an architect
“The first months on Sint Maarten were tough, it was right after hurricane Luis, and nearly everyone had damage to their home. When it rained at night, we had to clean the floors at the office first because of the leaking roof. It was years later, during the aftermath of hurricane Irma in 2017, that I realized in what kind of reality I started my career. At the time I was not aware what impact was on my surroundings and myself.

In general, I look back to an amazing period; when I worked at Virgon Plan Services I was able to design different villa’s, schools, social housing and offices – and I was not even thirty yet. I’m grateful that Claudwick Peterson gave me this opportunity.

After 2 years at Virgon we became a renowned firm on the island, but I wanted more… Ambitious as I am, I wanted to know where I was standing as an architect in a more competitive surrounding. That is why I decided in 1998 to move back to the Netherlands and joined my professor Hans Ruijssenaars at de architectengroep in Amsterdam. A few months later, in the beginning of 1999 I started my own company in St. Maarten to be able to continue with the Caribbean projects.”

The square then and now

My idea with the design for the square was to create a calm backdrop for all colours shapes and people that would be active on this market square. A simple design that would come to life with the merchandize and the people. But I am not sure if the design was understood by the public. For instance, they questioned when the roof was going to be finished, since the design only had beams.

It was supposed to be a design for 6 months. After 6 years the project was demolished, so at just 32 years of age I had my first built project being demolished. They replaced my temporary design with traditional kiosks which the tourists seem to like. There are plans again to renew the current market, so let’s see what it will look like in the future.

Door |2024-03-18T17:12:55+00:0015 maart 2024|25 years, News|0 Reacties
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