This is a sketch of a building on New Street in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It is obliquely opposite this one >>>. This building is characteristic of the Caribbean tradition of using good ventilation methods like sash windows with louvres at each side. It expresses a careful regard for the hot, wet, humid climate. Large eaves and overhangs protect walls from the harsh Caribbean sun, and walls of jalousies (louvres), and high level openings allow penetrating breezes to cool interiors. In the sketch above the wall is composed of windows, jalousies, and fretwork (ornamental open woodwork)…all aiding in ventilation; and creating a dynamic play of solid and void, light and shade, rectilinear and decorative. Notice dormer window, and the overhang of the upper story to protect the walls of the lower floor and passersby from the sun and rains (like I spoke of in this post >>).
“The basic function of a tropical building was to offer simple protection from rain and sun. This awareness eliminated many of the superficial elements of nostalgic colonial building. More appreciation for the out-of-doors allowed the garden to become an important part of the living environment, which led to connecting architectural elements between the out-of-doors and the building enclosure: galleries, verandas, porches, balconies, larger windows, louvered shutters, walls composed almost entirely of doors, and so on. Even the extensive use of fretwork, although undeniably decorative, had climatic advantages, for it offered a degree of privacy while still filtering the bright sunlight, allowing air to flow into the building and maintaining a visual connection with the outdoors.”
Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain
People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them, they went out and happened to things – Leonardo Da Vinci
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.