Assumption Church

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This site is on the Heritage Asset Inventory which is the official list of Trinidad and Tobago’s historic sites that are worthy of notation and preservation. The register is authorized by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago’s Council and is by no means exhaustive. The sites on the Heritage Asset Register are not owned by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. The Trust welcomes any historical information and oral histories the public wishes to share with us concerning this site via the feedback form.

In 1949 Anthony C Lewis was asked by the Catholic Archbishop to design a church for Maraval. Lewis wanted to design something really ground-breaking. The churches in Trinidad were all based on the cruciform plan, popular in Europe and America. These designs were not conducive to the West Indian climate and uncomfortable for the congregation. He also wanted to design a building that would make his work stand out. It is rare for an architect to have complete control of any project or not make compromise. He felt that he had the freedom to create in a way that he had never experienced before.

Lewis had visited the site prior to making his offer and already had several ideas in mind. The land was bordered by trees, with a pink poui dominating. It was an opportunity for Lewis to incorporate the theories and philosophies he had learnt from the work of Van de Roche and Wright. Lewis used natural pink, blue and yellow sandstone to reflect the colours of the poui. He designed with natural materials in mind, indigenous limestone and greenheart timber with natural lighting. The Church of Assumption did not follow the traditional cruciform designs and uses a non-traditional orientation to provide soft filtered light and good cross-ventilation for the early morning celebration of mass. During the construction, Father Connolly, the parish priest overseeing the project on behalf of the church, was heavily criticised for allowing a design that appeared more like an aeroplane hangar than a church. The criticisms were unfounded, however, as the resulting church is one of the finest examples of modern architecture in Trinidad.

Oscar Niemeyer, a famous Brazilian architect, came all the way to Trinidad to see the church. The sight of the revolutionary design brought tears to his eyes, a validation that Lewis could only ever have dreamed of.

Other Known Name: Church of the Assumption

Address: Long Circular Road

Town/City: Maraval

Region: Port of Spain

Site Type: Cultural Heritage

Ownership:

Public Accessibility:

Cultural Community:

Site Features: Places of Worship

  • Assumption Church (1)

    Assumption Church (1)

  • Assumption Church (2)

    Assumption Church (2)

  • Assumption Church (3)

    Assumption Church (3)

  • Assumption Church (4)

    Assumption Church (4)

  • Assumption Church (5)

    Assumption Church (5)

  • Assumption Church (6)

    Assumption Church (6)

  • Assumption Church (7)

    Assumption Church (7)

  • Assumption Church (8)

    Assumption Church (8)

  • Assumption Church (9)

    Assumption Church (9)

  • Asumption church by melony mejias

    Asumption church by melony mejias

Address:

Long Circular Road, Maraval, Port of Spain