Amid the busy streets and boxy high-rises of Jamaica’s economic hub, a building catches your eye. It’s a gleaming beacon of modern architecture, a style whose trademark formality is mitigated by the building’s organic shapes and the greenery that blankets the exterior, inviting butterflies to dance about in their fanciful way.
You’re drawn to the entrance, which beckons with feelings of warmth and comfort. Passing through the portico is akin to being enveloped in a cocoon, leaving the frenzy of Kingston’s activity behind. Have you just entered the newest spa in Jamaica’s capital? The hippest holistic centre? Not even close.
“It would be a landmark,” Jarrett says of the proposed bank design. “It would be a beacon of where the country’s commerce is right now. While a lot of the other buildings in the area are modern and being renovated in different ways, few have such a bold, iconic expression of the advancement of banking in Jamaica like this building.”
The design process did indeed begin with a study of a cocoon’s form, the space being sculpted around the bank’s programming while speaking a language of renewal, stability, and tranquillity. Jarrett and his team members, who range from young Jamaicans educated locally and abroad to senior architects with decades of experience, check their egos at the design process door, collaborating with careful consideration to the aesthetics and beyond of each project.
“We try to understand the macro and micro context of what the piece of architecture is supposed to achieve,” says Jarrett. “We take a client’s information, throw it into the creative incubator, often heavily influenced by nature, and see how it develops. I work with a very dynamic team and we lean on each other a lot. I find a lot of brilliance in collaboration.”
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