Architecture

This page contains a random collection of photos of Guyanese architecture.  You are welcome to contribute photos and information for inclusion.

 

 

 

Stabroek Market

Stabroek Market

Stabroek Market

Stabroek Market, is one of Guyana’s most prominent landmarks. On the east bank of Demerara River in Georgetown, Stabroek Market is the virtual heart of the city. Bustling with activity, it is the central hub for taxis and minibuses, and for ferries that transport people and goods from towns and villages along and across the Demerara river.

Stabroek Market the biggest in Guyana has been the place where sellers, go to make a living, where they make their mark before branching out. Here shopping galore includes grocery, clothes, jewellery, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

The market dates back to the late 1700s although the current structure was built in 1880. In 1842, the Georgetown Town Council designated the location of the market on Water Street, officially recognizing it as a market. The building was designed and constructed by the Edgemoor Iron Company of Delaware, USA over the period 1880-1881. A cast-iron building with a corrugated-iron clock tower, was completed in 1881 and may be the oldest structure of this type still in use in the city. Designed by American engineer Nathaniel McKay, the market covers an area of about 80,000 square feet (7,000 m2).

Sources:
Visit Guyana website: http://www.gotoguyana.org/things-to-do/stabroek-market-georgetown-guyana/
Photo: Squares in South America
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1606064

 

 

St George’s Cathedral

St. George's Cathedral

St. George’s Cathedral

Described as the tallest wooden structure and largest wooden church building in the world, St Georges Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Guyana’s architectural heritage.

The Cathedral designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield   in the Gothic style, features typical elements of Gothic architecture – flying buttresses, traceried windows, clerestory, pointed arches, “black and white” framing of Elizabethan times. It is 43.59 metres high.

Built mainly of greenheart, the foundation stone was laid on 21 November 1889. The cathedral opened on 24 August 1892 was consecrated on 8 November 1894 and dedicated by Bishop Swaby. The building was completed in 1899.

St George’s is one of a list of monuments submitted to UNESCO to have Georgetown listed as a World Heritage Site.

Sources:
St George’s Cathedral Of Guyana – By Dmitri Allicock
http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/st-georges-cathedral-of-guyana-by-dmitri-allicock/
http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/272/

 

Umana Yana

Umana Yana

Umana Yana

Umana Yana is a gazetted monument of Guyana. It is a conical shaped palm thatched shelter also referred to as a benab. Like the Wai-Wai benabs found in Guyana’s hinterland the word Umana Yana is of Amerindian Wai Wai origin meaning, “meeting place of the people.” The building was constructed to host the inaugural meeting of the Non – Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference in 1972.

Located in Kingston, Georgetown, on the lawns of the former Mariner’s Club, at the north eastern end of High Street and Battery Road, next to the Pegasus Hotel, Umana Yana it is now a permanent and much admired part of Georgetown’s scenery, often used as an exhibition and conference centre.

The structure measuring 55 feet (16.78 meters) in height with a diameter of 26.8 metres occupies an area of 460 square metres making it the largest structure of its kind in Guyana. Architectural drawings and plans were provided by architect George Henry. The building was constructed by an Amerindian Wai Wai team led by Chief Elka, accompanied by some sixty others. Utilising traditional materials and building techniques used by their ancestors, it is made from thatched allibanna and manicole palm leaves, wallaba posts bound together with mukru, turu, and nibbi vines. Notably, nails were not used in its construction.

Source: Photo and text.
Umana Yana, African Liberation Monument
February 21, 2014 By admin
http://www.guyanatimesinternational.com/?p=32169

 

City Hall. Georgetown

 

Georgetown Town Hall

Georgetown Town Hall

 

City Hall of Georgetown, at the corner of Regent Street and the Avenue of the Republic, has been described as the most picturesque structure in the Garden City

Of timber construction, with cast iron columns the building is one of the finest examples in the Caribbean, of ‘fancy dress’ Gothic Revival architecture, complete with a steeply pitched roof, spire, pinnacles and ornamental wrought iron crenellation. Its dimensions are- 27.1m long, 17.4m wide, and 29.3m high.

The main entrance is defined by a high square tower, which houses an elaborate mahogany staircase that leads to the first and second floors. The tower rises to a fourth floor, from where one can climb to the very top of the spire and view the city through the crenellations.

An outstanding feature of the structure is its hammer beam roof, good for acoustics in the concert hall, which has been, before the National Cultural Centre, the main venue for notable cultural activities in the city.

City Hall is one of a list of monuments submitted to UNESCO to have Georgetown listed as a World Heritage Site.

Designed by Reverend Ignatius Scoles S. J., a trained architect who had designed several churches in Europe, City hall was built by Sprostons & Son and completed in June 1889

Sources:

 1. Website: http://www.landofsixpeoples.com/news502/ns5051950.htm
Celebrating Guyana’s built heritage: City Hall, a brief history
By Lloyd Kandasammy. Stabroek News. May 19, 2005
2. May 2, 2014. World Monuments Fund.
Georgetown’s City Hall. Posted by National Trust of Guyana
http://www.wmf.org/journal/georgetown%E2%80%99s-city-hall

 


 

Houses
The Guyana House

The Guyana house with its unique character in the old days had been built on stilts so that it was well above ground which was frequently underwater. This is so since the coastal belt where most of us live is below sea level. We have addressed this with better sea defences, kokers and improved drainage. Accommodation at ground level is now commonplace, and has been so for over a hundred years in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, other townships and villages with reliable drainage systems.

 

Bottom House

But the stilts have created a different form of living space under the building perhaps unique to Guyana. Called ‘Bottom house’ this has added new words to the architectural dictionary. Bottom House has acquired a time honoured special role. It is the multipurpose dwelling/play/relaxing/meeting/working place. Here you play bat and ball, or have a ping pong table or hook up the hammock. If the kitchen is nearby, preparing greens, or fish or meat to cook is done here too. Serious meetings are held here or a party, why not? Why is the bottom house so good? Simple. It is under shade from the heat of sun in the hot climate, open with no walls and breezy.

Upstairs, is the main building where the kitchen and bedrooms are and the posh living cum dining room, always ready spik and span for guests or dignitaries. They would go up the front steps. There is a back step which goes up to the kitchen.

 

Gallery / Verandah

Upstairs also there is an important other space, the gallery, nowadays there is a verandah in its place. This is the space where we sit in our rocking chair or sofa and observe the world’s goings on, the birds flying past, vehicles speeding past leaving clouds of dust, the passing fair below on the road, uncle and auntie having a stroll, or where we would jump out of our seat to call out to someone we see passing whom we wanted to speak to for some time. The gallery windows are fully open to let in all the breeze blowing our way.

The larger 3 storey houses have virtually all of the first floor open for use as living, and dining with gallery areas on the windy and or road side. Bedrooms are up on the second floor.

 

Louvres

Louvres (jalousies) have been specials of the old houses. Louvred top hung shutters alternating with glazed windows, are the lungs of the building, letting air in, through and out. Windows do as well when open, but not when closed if it rains. That is the window’s shortcoming, though unlike the jalousie which is difficult to look through and blocks out light, the glazed window wins on letting light in and viewing out.

 

Coolers

Coolers are pretty and they add character to a house. Despite its downside as a poor window into the outside world, the cooler is an ingenious invention to cool the inside of a house. It blocks sunlight and its heat from getting in and lets air in and out through its louvre and perforated sides. But, the job is most successful when blocks of ice, or pots of water, or potted plants are placed on its base at sill level. These cool the external warm air as it passes into the room. The origin of this idea is said to be from the ancient Egyptians.

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House with Coolers

House with Coolers

Dargan House, is a splendid example of traditional colonial style architecture. It was constructed around 1880.

http://www.nationaltrust.gov.gy/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=163

 

 

Walter Roth Museum

Walter Roth Museum

This colonial ttyle building constructed before 1890 now hosts the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyggbs/Gallery/TimsPhotos/TheStreetsofGeorgetown/mainstreet.html

 

 

Modern Houses

House.Kennard.627Source: Photo: KennardP
Website: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kpillay/4806313611/

 

 

House.Got.627

Source: GOTTESMAN IN GUYANA My Life in Photos
Website: http://elizabethgottesman.wordpress.com/page/3/

 

 

House.Guyana Tour.627Source: Guyana (Guiana) Tour
http://www.ibike.org/ibike/guyana/essay/9-Demerara.htm