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Concept Developed by 12-member Design Team Embodies Jamaican Identity, Culture, Community and Landscape


Kingston, Jamaica (February 6, 2019) — The 12-member “National Veranda HOP5” design team, led by Guenet Sissaye Anderson, is one of five finalists in Jamaica’s Houses of Parliament Design Competition, which launched the exhibition stage on January 30. The design concept reflects the rich, diverse and strong heritage of the Jamaican people, while conveying a modern, iconic government building that invites civic engagement.


The “National Veranda HOP5” design team includes:
Guenet S. Anderson, JIA, GSA Architects (Team Lead)
Emerson C. Hamilton, AIA, HALLC (Executive Architect)
Dwhyte Batson, B.Arch (UTECH Graduate Student, M. Arch)
Adam Bridge, RA, Alter Urban Architecture (Lead Design Architect)
Emmanuel Mdingi, AIA, DCI Architects (Lead Project Architect)
John Sage, AIA, Alter Urban Architecture (Project Architect)
Antonella Cortez, AIA, DCI Architects (Project Architect)
Paola Moya, CEO, Moya Design Partners (Interior Architect)
Lee Edgecombe, AIA, ASLA, AICP, CNU (Urban Planner, Landscape Architect)
Cheryl P. Hamilton (Real Estate Development Expert)
Alaina Gentles (Intern Architect)
Nicolette Gordon (Intern Architect)


“Parliament is the center of our democracy, it is where the future of our country and our people is decided, it must represent the best of us all,” said Lead Architect Guenet S. Anderson. “The ‘National Veranda HOP5’ is bold, embracing, open and transparent and inviting. A facility for and representative of The Jamaican People.”
“This project is especially meaningful to me because I was born close to National Heroes Park—what was then the old Race Course—so this project feels like I’m coming full circle to give back to my community and country,” said Emerson Hamilton, AIA, HALLC. “I’m also proud that our design is built on community feedback—we received great insights from our questionnaires asking Jamaicans what is important to include. I’m confident that our design is one that will make Jamaicans proud of their Parliament.”
“The Jamaican Parliament should have a design that celebrates Jamaica’s rich culture, invites the community in and respects the prominence and tradition of the democratic institution,” said Paola Moya, CEO of Moya Design Partners. “Our ‘National Veranda HOP5’ design captures these elements in a meaningful way.”



Design Concept


Led by Guenet Sissaye Anderson, the ‘National Veranda HOP5’ design revitalizes Kingston’s Heroes Park for citizen participation. Ninety-five percent of the site is publicly accessible, with features including: The People’s Monument, The National Lawn, The National Veranda, chamber walls serving as a canvas for Jamaican artists, children’s splash parks, a 10-acre recreational complex, and a botanical garden for native trees and plant education with jogging paths throughout. Its soaring columns represent the many coming together as one, and its expansive artistic program embodies the creativity and diversity of Jamaica’s people. It sets the foundation for a reinvigorated Jamaica—a country, a government and a people ascendant through the 21st century and beyond.
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The interior design is spearheaded by multidisciplinary boutique studio Moya Design Partners. To capture the ever-present breezes, tree groves, and sloping lands of Kingston, the design emphasizes sun, shade, shelter, and incorporates the colors and shape of the Jamaican flag: gold for the sun, the green of the land, and black for the strength of the Jamaican people.
The house chamber is circular to support values of stability, inclusion, and equality. The design blends heritage symbols, such as the Jamaican seal on the floor, with natural materials to celebrate both the history of Jamaica and the country’s momentum as a growing, sustainable economy on the world stage. The team proposes a similar design for the senate with a dynamic oval plan.
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Guenet Sissaye Anderson with members of “The National Veranda HOP5” design team after the finalists were announced.
The competition for the Parliament of Jamaica is organized by the Urban Development Corporation on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. Launched in May 2018, the public, open competition invited international design teams that included a registered Jamaican architect to submit concepts. According to the office of the prime minister, “more than 200 architects in Jamaica and the diaspora” responded. In the end, five teams were selected to make presentations and submit more detailed designs. The competition includes three final stages with a February exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, a “People’s Choice” phase, where Jamaicans will vote for their favorite design, with the announcement of the winning design firm in early March. The winner will receive $5 million and will work alongside the contractor to implement their design. The second and third-place entries will receive $4 million and $2 million, respectively.
GSA Associates Group (Team Lead)
GSA ASSOCIATES GROUP is located at 17 Fairlane Avenue, Kingston 6, Jamaica
Our telephone number is 970-0540/ 654-0231(0), 577-3111(cell), and 970-4145(Fax).GSA Associates Group was established in November 1998 with Guenet Sissaye Anderson as Principal Architect, who herself was registered under the Architects Registration Act in June 1990. The objective of the firm is to merge originality of design, functionality, energy efficiency and environmental suitability, with strict adherence to agreed economic parameters. GSA Associates Group works in association with other architects and part-time technicians depending on the scope of work at any given time. The firm has to date undertaken a wide range of projects including office buildings, residential housing, factories, institutional buildings, (basic, primary and secondary schools), health facilities, and commercial buildings.


Hamilton Associates LLC (HALLC) (Executive Architect)
Emerson C. Hamilton serves as managing principal-in-charge of Hamilton Associates, LLC, an architecture, engineering, planning, and real estate development firm. As a seasoned, results-oriented company, Hamilton Associates, LLC, combines 28 years of professional experience in planning, design, construction, commissioning, cGMP validation, and facilities management. Key experience includes design and construction of embassies, healthcare facilities, universities, PK-12 schools, biotechnology campuses, commercial buildings, recreational facilities, residential facilities and assembly buildings. www.hallcaia.com


Alter Urban (Lead Design Architect)
Alter Urban works in a co-creative process that combines individual expression with community consciousness. We seek to empower our clients and their inherent creativity to develop new solutions to traditional & non-traditional challenges. We provide residential and commercial clients with planning, conceptual development, design, project management, and construction administration services. www.alterurban.com


Moya Design Partners (Interior Architect)
Moya Design Partners is a multidisciplinary boutique studio producing creative work in the fields of architecture, interiors, and visual design. The firm was founded by renowned business leader and respected designer Paola Moya. As a diverse studio of architects, designers and innovators, Moya Design Partners specializes in all-inclusive design services in architecture, interiors, brand strategy and visual design. Our portfolio is as diverse as our innovative team. We’ve served clients ranging from MGM Resorts to nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, universities, entertainment, sports arenas, theaters, private developers, and charitable foundations. www.moyadesignpartners.com
SK&A Group (Structural Engineers) An award-winning organization, The SK&A Group has provided structural engineering services to public and private sector clients in the building industry since 1960. The SK&A Group seamlessly provides clients with specialized expertise and pooled resources within a range of structural related consulting services—from structural analysis, design, repair, and restoration to testing and inspection. skaengineers.com


DCI Architects (Project Architect)
A multi-disciplinary A/E design practice with a core belief in a collaborative design process, DCI Architects provides commercial and residential services to private and government clients. We offer a wide expertise in concept/feasibility planning, existing facilities assessment, design and engineering, project management, construction administration, and post-construction services. dci-arch.com
The Edgecombe Group, Inc. (Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Architecture and Planning)The Edgecombe Group, Inc. is a professional interdisciplinary design practice founded in 1992 that integrates landscape architecture, urban design, architecture, planning and policy analysis of urban communities. Through a place-based process of design for redevelopment and new construction of commercial and institutional projects, we work with and engage government officials and stakeholders to identify and leverage the local neighborhood’s unique assets. Through our design and planning process, we seek to put into motion placemaking and growth management strategies that create a sustainable and attractive urban environment that can responsibly drive economic development for current and future generations.