Out of the Shadow—Critical Regionalism in Architecture 1957–2019

A TTIA Retrospective of John Gillespie

The Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the ethical practice, art and science of architecture in Trinidad & Tobago.

The TTIA is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition of the work of John Gillespie (practicing as Gillespie + Partners) who were in practice in the immediate pre and post Independence era, covering a significant transition period ‘The first 50 years of Independence’.

Gillespie has been in practice in Trinidad for a period of sixty two years from 1957 only retiring in 2019 aged 94.

While to retain focus, the present exhibition of his work is confined to the work in Trinidad & Tobago, the Gillespie Practice also operated throughout the English speaking islands of the Caribbean and in Guyana, to complete a total body of work of +/- two hundred buildings.

The exhibition importantly will show the consistent development of a specific climate based design philosophy that marries functionality with poetic imagination, as expressed in an appropriate science based technology.

Venue: Castle Killarney (“Stollmeyer’s Castle”)
Date: Monday 2nd October to Saturday 11th November, 2023
Time: Tuesdays to Fridays: 9 am to 5 pm; Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm.

Mondays are by appointment only for dignitaries or large groups (ten persons or more).
Please call 1 (868) 227-5240 / 1 (868) 798-5574 or Email castlekillarneytt@gmail.com .

While the exhibition is free to all, contributions are welcome!

John Gillespie Biography

1925Born in England of Scottish parentage
1943 to 1946Wartime Military Service in Palestine
1948 to 1953Architectural Degree Course at Leicester University UK
1957 to dateResident of Trinidad
1957 to 1959Architect at Mence & Moore
1960 to 1965Laird & Gillespie Partnership
1966 to 1969Gillespie & Associates
1970 to 2002Gillespie & Steel
2002 to 2012Gillespie + Partners
2012 to 2019Consultant

John Gillespie Awards + Competitions

  • 2014 Recipient of Hummingbird Medal (Silver) for loyal and devoted service beneficial to T&T in the field of Architecture
  • 2011 Caribbean Construction Awards:
    2 no. For Architecture Best Large Building and
    1 no. Building of the Year; Sponsor ABEL Building Solutions
  • 2006 Caribbean Building Awards
    2 no. for Interiors and Tourism / Entertainment Categories
  • 2005 BITS Buildings and Interiors Trade Show: ‘Most Innovative Design’
  • 2002–2004 QEP BP Architectural & Interior Design
  • 2008 Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA), President’s Gold Medal
  • 1995 Premiated Design; CARIFESTA Centre for the Performing Arts
  • 1984 Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects: ‘Award of Distinction’
  • 1973, 1974, 1975 Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects: ‘Building of Year Award’
Portrait of John GIllespie by Derek Walcott, Rampanalgas 1969. Oil on canvas.
Gabriel Woodham (left), Graphic Designer for Exhibition, and Renate Allum, Registered Architect-Curator of exhibition).
Renate Allum (Registered Architect/Curator), John Gillespie, Niko Brewster (TTIA student member).
Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Photograph by Marlon Rouse.

Exhibition Panels

John Gillespie, List of Buildings

  1. RBC Royal Bank, Independence Square, Port of Spain [1966 + 1986]
  2. St. Michaels Anglican Church, Wendy Fitzwilliam Blvd [1968]
  3. Lucianos Restaurant [1971] (demolished)
  4. RBC Royal Bank, Chancery Lane [1972]
  5. Amoco Mayaro [1973]
  6. Telco Exchange Building:
    Laventille Communications Tower [1976] *
  7. Telco Exchange Building: Laventille Work Centre [1976] *
  8. Telco Exchange Building:
    Exchange Building—Cross Crossing San Fernando [1976] *
  9. Rhand, Abercromby Street [1980]
  10. Algico [1988]
  11. TTPS Police Station—Barrackpore  [1992] **
  12. TTPS Police Station—Headquarters POS [1992] **
  13. Immigration & TTPS Police Station, Cedros [1992]
  14. FCB Headquarters, POS (Savannah) [1993 + 2001]
  15. RBC Royal Bank Maraval [1994]
  16. RBC Royal Bank Park Street [1995]
  17. AA Laquis, London Street [1995]
  18. Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) [1996]
  19. UWI Student Admin [1996]
  20. Tunapuna Administrative Complex [1972 + 1997]
  21. Cunupia Secondary School [2000]
  22. MInistry of Education (MoE)—Education Towers [2000]
  23. Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (ALJGSB) [2005]
  24. UWI DAAGA [2008]
  25. RBC Royal Bank, St. Clair [2008]
  26. Trinidad & Tobago Civil Aviation Authority [2012]
  27. UWI Teaching and Learning [2012]

* Part of Telco development programme.
** Part of a development programme for the TTPS under the Ministry of National Security and funded by the Maritime Financial Group.

John Gillespie, Conceptual Works

  1. UNBUILT Urban Analysis POS, City Block [1990]
  2. Premiated Design UNBUILT, CARIFESTA Competition—Centre for Performing Arts / National Complex for Steel Pans [1995]

Poems by John Gillespie

  • Aura
  • Darkness
  • Earth
  • Voyage
  • Overstory
  • Fluidity
  • Image
  • Evening
  • A Pindaric Ode to Life

Drawings by Jackie Hinkson

The following buildings were designed by Gillespie + Partners. Mr. Jackie Hinkson has been commissioned to create the collection for the exhibition. Each piece is 25×30 inches when framed.

Please contact the Office Administrator at administration@ttia-architects.org or 1 (868) 624-8842 to inquire about purchasing.

  • RBC Royal Bank St. Clair Branch
  • RBC Royal Bank Maraval Branch
  • AA Laquis Building, London Street
  • FCB Headquarters, Queen’s Park East
  • Inter-American Development Bank, Alexandra Street

Music by György Ligeti (1923–2006)

The music you are hearing as listed below was composed in the nineteen seventies last by György Ligeti a Hungarian composer. It is “static self-contained music without either development or traditional rhythmic configuration.” Both music and architecture are arts that are expressed in space and time. Website: gyorgy-ligeti.com

  1. Atmospheres [1961]
  2. Volumina [1961–62, rev. 1966]
  3. Lux Aeterna [1966]
  4. Organ Study No.1 ‘Harmonies’ [1967]
  5. Lontano [1967]
  6. Ramifications [1968-69]
  7. Melodien [1971]


Sat 7th Oct, 2023‘Found Objects’
with Shane Mohammed
$100 TTD
Students $50 TTD
Sat 14th Oct, 2023‘By Making—Furniture / Industrial Design’
with Marlon Dareau
$100 TTD
Students $50 TTD
Sat 21st Oct, 2023‘Sip & Paint’
with Arty Party
Contact Sharon Burford (1 (868) 327-1790).
$300 TTD
Sat 28th Oct, 2023‘2°C—It’s Time!’
with Martyn Joab
$100 TTD
Students $50 TTD
Sat 4th Nov, 2023‘The Visible and Invisible Architecture of a Poem’
with Andre Bagoo
$100 TTD
Students $50 TTD
Sat 11th Nov, 2023‘Bestcrete Pavers Installation’
with Abel Building Solutions
$100 TTD
Students $50 TTD

Sign up today! 😀 Students @ half price 😀 (except ‘Sip & Paint’)!
Food + Drinks would be available for sale on Saturdays (cash only)

Register Online

Workshop Sponsors:


Payments can be made:

  • via cheque to the TTIA, or
  • via direct deposit to TTIA’s Republic Bank chequing account #2902 8548 3802 (please note “Your Name-Name of Workshop-JG” in the description)

Please liaise with Leah Polo-Kennedy (Office Administrator) at administration@ttia-architects.org or 1 (868) 624-8842.

Merchandise on Sale

  • Souvenir 2024 Calendar by Sam Bayne $140
  • Souvenir Cards $35
  • Souvenir Programmes $40
  • ‘Forged from the Love: Colin Laird, Caribbean Architect’ $350

Merchandise Pricelist


  • The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • Precast Concrete Services
  • Castle Killarney
  • Carpenter’s Edge Ltd
  • CW Interiors Ltd
  • Weathershield Systems Caribbean Ltd
  • Furniture Solutions Ltd
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Kee-Chanona Ltd
  • We Haul Ltd


The TTIA wishes to acknowledge the contribution of John Gillespie to the built environment of our country and also to thank him for granting access to his manuscript on Caribbean Architectural Expression.

We also wish to thank:

  • Our sponsors
  • The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and Dominique Innis, the HS Manager of Castle Killarney, Gabriel Woodham for the collating the exhibition graphics, and Sam Bayne for compilation of the 2024 Calendar of Details related to the Buildings.
  • Gillespie and Partners for access to their photographic archive as well as to those of Dion Wilson, and Stephen Jameson who worked on these buildings and contributed photos, and Marlon Rouse photographer for the inclusion of his photos of the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.

In the words of Mr. Gillespie “Architecture is a complex art that requires contributions from many players. In the context of the works on display, I wish to acknowledge the significance design contributions of architects Colvin Chen, Robert Douglas (deceased), Nalini Keshavan, Dion Wilson, Stephen Jameson, Sharen Bidaisee and Lloyd de Suze. In addition I wish to acknowledge the engineering contributions of the structural engineers CEP Ltd and KS&P, mechanical/electrical Engineers ENCO, facade engineers ARUP (UK), cost consultants Ellis & Associates and the IT Mcleod Partnership.”

Sam Bayne (Interior Designer-Commemorative Calendar) and Renate Allum (Registered Architect-Curator).
  • Ken-Stina Ltd (Landscaping)
  • Nicholas Dinchong
  • Asha Harrinarine-Eligon
  • Leah Polo-Kennedy
  • Sienna Lewis
  • Niko Brewster
  • Adrian Gittens
  • Mark Franco
  • Ricardo Newallo
  • Renate Allum (Curator on behalf of TTIA)
Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Photograph by Marlon Rouse.
Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Photograph by Marlon Rouse.

Photo Gallery