In search of contemporary Caribbean architecture

We have exciting news! As part of our 25th anniversary, we are going to film a documentary about Lyongo’s journey in search of contemporary Caribbean architecture.

Designers on the Caribbean islands face a major challenge. Due to the growing population, the growth in tourism and the increasing demand for (public) buildings and other meeting places, there are more and more assignments for architects on the islands. Over the last 20 years, more emphasis has also been placed on high-quality buildings. Buildings that are sustainable, resistant to extreme weather conditions and reflect the local population. In this documentary Lyongo Juliana visits various projects of lyongo architecture together with young designers, clients, residents and local students. They discuss the design and put it in a broader context.

Why a documentary?

We want to capture Lyongo’s vision on contemporary Caribbean architecture as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A documentary was the perfect medium to capture this. When you think about what the built environment looks like there, you probably think of the characteristic, colored houses on Curacao, the gingerbread ornaments of St. Maarten, the slave houses of Bonaire or the white houses with red roofs on Saba. But there is so much more to see and discover on these islands. Very little has been documented about this to date. We want to show everyone how special the islands are and that there is much more to see than traditional architecture.

Lyongo: “At the same time, I like to share my journey and development as an architect, to inspire new, young designers. I will do this by evaluating my work and discussing current design assignments with local designers, planners, and users.”

Where are we going to record the film? 

Together with filmmaker Pim Gelevert we will visit different Caribbean islands in May 2024. We have made a selection from our entire portfolio of projects that have been built in the last 25 years or are currently being built. We highlight a few of them here.




Sint Maarten 

Why these projects?

Of course we had to make hard choices in locations and projects. Each of the chosen projects illustrates a different theme, important for the documentary. During the conversations we zoom in on topics such as: sustainability, heritage, demographic developments, social inclusion and local culture. In this way we want to address current issues that arise on the Caribbean islands, such as climate change and decolonization of our heritage.

Consider, for example, climatological issues for designers on the Caribbean islands. Most houses there are too hot, so they do not protect you well against climate influences. This is often solved by energy-consuming cooling machines – for example cooling costs 5 times as much energy as heating. People with a small budget cannot afford this, so they must live in a house that is too hot, which affects their well-being. So, a better design also ensures healthier people and less energy use. This applies not only to homes, but also to other buildings such as offices or public spaces.

In addition to climate challenges, as a designer you also must deal with extreme weather conditions, in the form of hurricanes. Hurricanes are expected to become more intense due to climate change. With a category 5 hurricane you are talking about wind speeds of 250 km/hour, a strong storm in the Netherlands has wind force 12, which is only 120 km/hour. Designers are faced with the task of creating buildings that are both comfortable, sustainable, and safe.

Planning and sponsorship

The plan is to record the documentary in the spring and premiere the film in the fall of 2024. We want to show the film on the four islands and in the Netherlands (in various places) in combination with a follow-up discussion (debate). After the film has been premiered everywhere, we will also share it online (with subtitles) so that the film becomes accessible to everyone.

The documentary is made possible by two generous clients and the PBCCG. For which we are very grateful.

Door |2024-05-18T10:35:39+00:002 mei 2024|25 years, News|0 Reacties
Ga naar de bovenkant