ssssPublic Spaces, a seminal exhibition exploring key public spaces designed by architect Colin Laird, will be launched at the National Museum in Port-of-Spain tomorrow from 6.30 pm. The launch is open to the public, and Laird will be present. Through an exploration of the social, developmental and environmental aspects of design, Public Spaces links the work of Colin Laird (born 1924) to the development of T&T over the past 50 years. As post-Independence T&T developed as a dynamic and vibrant nation, architects played a key role in the country’s social, economic, cultural and physical evolution, expressing the spirit of the emerging society by literally building the nation.
Laird was at the vanguard of this movement, devoting much of his working life to major civic projects. Colonial architecture projected authority, order and power, expressed through architectural styles, which asserted the superiority of the colonial system over its subjects. Laird’s work sought to redress this spatial order, through architectural strategies that instead encouraged participation and inclusion. Laird embraced the notion of an independent T&T, and was an active participant in many forms of contemporary culture. However, what distinguishes his body of work over the last 50 years is his unwavering belief in a public and inclusive approach to architecture and urban design. The concept of public space is a key element of virtually every major project undertaken in his career. The Public Spaces exhibition will highlight several of Laird’s most notable works, with a particular focus on Queen’s Hall, the National Library, the National Stadium and the Brian Lara Promenade, which will be explored through the architect’s sketches, presentation and detail drawings, models, an exhibition leaflet, and a short video documentary on Laird, produced by Banyan.
Public Spaces runs until July 19, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 am to 6 pm. • For further information e-mail [email protected] or call 387-2293.