This is a sketch of the Clock Tower of Queen’s Royal College (Q.R.C.) in Trinidad & Tobago (see photo below). The clock tower stands at 93 feet tall. QRC is located at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Maraval Road in Port of Spain (around the Queen’s Park Savannah). The foundation stone for the building was laid on November 11, 1902 by Sir Courtenay Knollys. The design was done by Daniel Meinerts Hahn who was at the time the Chief Draftsman of the Public Works Department. The main block of the masterpiece is in a German Renaissance-style architecture which is evident by its solidness and ornateness. It was constructed at a cost of 15,000 pounds. The broad galleries and corridors were designed to allow the freest possible passage of air for physical comfort. The stonework was heavily employed in the construction to absorb the heat.
Reference – A Magnificent Nine by the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
Some notable graduates of QRC include:
- Eric Eustace Williams – Historian, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Sir Vidia Naipaul– Nobel-prize winning author. QRC is memorialised in his masterpiece, A House for Mr. Biswas.
- Rudranath Capildeo – Mathematician, politician.
- C.L.R. James – Pre-eminent Caribbean philosopher, historian, novelist, essayist, political theorist and cricket writer.
- Derek Walcott – Nobel Prize winner, Poet, playwright, writer and visual artist.
- Lloyd Best – Economist, essayist, politician, scholar. Founder of the ‘Plantation school’ of Economics.
- Peter Minshall – Artist, Trinidad carnival mas man, designer of opening ceremony for the Olympic Games of Atlanta 1996, Emmy Award Winner.
- Wendell Mottley – 1964 Olympic silver medalist and politician. Former Minister of Finance.
- Deryck Murray – West Indian wicket-keeper in cricket.
- Karl Hudson-Phillips – Jurist, politician. Former judge of the International Criminal Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Richard Thompson – Athlete and 2008 Olympic medalist – 100m; 4x100m relay
- Marc Burns – Athlete and 2008 Olympic medalist – 4x100m relay
- George Maxwell Richards – Engineer, academician, current President of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Eric A. Williams – Geologist, former politician and Minister of Energy.
The building recently underwent a restoration. During the restoration process, paint was carefully stripped to uncover the original colors, revealing in the classrooms, hand-painted dado panels in different designs, framed by stenciled and hand-painted border friezes. These original panels will be restored to their original splendor in selected areas. External colors have also been restored to the original colors.
Features of Renaissance Buildings:
- Symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors
- Extensive use of Classical columns and pilasters
- Triangular pediments
- Square lintels
- Niches with sculptures
The Renaissance was a period of intense intellectual probing, of the reexamination of Classical literature, art, and architecture. The Renaissance artist-architect shared in this curiosity. Beginning with Brunelleschi, architects made the pilgrimage to ancient Rome, then a sleepy medieval town greatly shrunken from its imperial grandeur, to study and measure Roman ruins. They proposed to equal or surpass the artistic achievement of antiquity, but not to make literal copies of ancient architecture.
Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning by Leland M. Roth
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.