Research into the development of Coronie with the Roman Catholic ensemble as anchor point.
This master thesis is the result of an interdisciplinary research into the history, the present and the future of the Coronie district in Suriname. In addition, we mainly zoomed in on the center of Coronie and the ensemble of the four Catholic buildings that belong to the Diocese of Paramaribo. This study was conducted by students of Heritage Studies and Architecture at the University of Antwerp as part of the Interdisciplinary Studio for Territories in Transition studio (ISTT). Through a collaboration of students from different disciplines, this thesis was given the necessary extra layering. For example, both historical and architectural information has been bundled for these buildings to make a valuation. The buildings are also fully measured and drawn.
The master’s thesis is divided into three separate parts. In the first part, we zoom in more and more from a macro-scale to a micro-scale: the ultimate site of the research. It describes the historical and spatial context of both Coronie as a whole and the former plantations. Following is the construction history and an extensive architectural analysis of the buildings.
The end of the first part consists of design driven participatory action research. In this article, we look in more detail at the methodology and approach of our research within the Coronie district. The various organised workshops with the locals are also described in detail in this part.
The second part of this master thesis builds on the information obtained from the historical and architectural analysis of the Mary’s Hope ensemble. This information is brought together in a valuation and inventory. After this, we look at the restoration philosophy and vision.
In the third and also the last part, proposals are made for a tourist repurposing of the ensemble. The end product of this master thesis is an extensive tourist plan for the center of Coronie. For example, a master plan has been drawn up for the infrastructure in the center, a proposal for a possible expansion of the district and new tourist developments and facilities have been designed to revitalize Coronie.