Antillean Gothic proposes a tropical way of life rooted in the Caribbean but with an ear and an eye to global themes that influence all of us.

This proposal has its origins in the design and arrangement of the type of dwelling commonly known as a ‘shotgun house’, whose origin itself has been traced back from the American South to Haiti and West Africa. The objective was to utilise the linear room arrangement (which is conducive to encouraging cross ventilation), but introduce a second ‘layer’ which provides screening and circulation.

The use of self-supporting vaulted corrugated sheeting was well developed in US military ‘Quonset’ buildings. Here the sheeting is supported and also continuously welded to the curved steel piping.

This home provides generous cross ventilation (via doors) and stack ventilation (via continuous openings at high level in the upper floor rooms).

It is conceived to promote 4 ideals:
That the principal building material – namely bamboo - should have the potential to besourced locally (grown and processed) and sustainably.
That the the construction methodologies should provide the opportunity for community self-built, managed and maintained units.
That the home should be a safe place to be in natural disasters – earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.
That the configuration of the home should provide the best possible access to natural light, ventilation and clean water.

The construction of the individual units is driven by the possibilities of the principal building material - bamboo.
It is utilised in its immediately recognisable form (poles); and post-processing/manufacturing (laminated units).

The other distinctive materials are common throughout the Caribbean:
Expanded metal mesh - used here as a structural membrane and screening element, utilising continuous welding
Bent scaffolding poles (galvanised steel pipes)
Corrugated metal sheeting - to provide enclosure as well functioning as a structural membrane with continuous welding
Half 55-gallon drums - as an ‘oversize’ gutter to collect water for washing, cleaning and irrigation

The vertical axis wind turbine is a physical ‘proof of concept’ – and if in some way could be accommodated (budget-wise) would generate 7,500 kWh per year.

Antillean Gothic has been featured by various publications including  Wired,  Inhabitat  and by 3D / BIM software pioneers  ArchiCAD

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