Elizabeth Newman and Doris Gross like to remain under the radar, but their work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Portico Architecture Planning and Interior Design opened its doors in 1996 and the partnership has lead to breathtaking spaces around the island including a bevy of residential developments, restoration projects, villas and corporate offices.
Neither Newman or Gross were born and raised in Jamaica, but they have both made it their home for over 20 years. Prior to establishing Portico, Elizabeth Newman called Boston, Massachusetts her home. She studied at the Boston Architectural College and is a registered architect in Massachusetts and Jamaica. Doris Gross, born in Germany, studied civil engineering and planning at the Technical College in Alsfeld.
Both principals deeply believe in the elegance of Jamaican architecture of the past and aspire to incorporate this into their work as they pursue tropical architecture. “Environmental elements, cultural aspects and ways of living are crucial to success,” says Newman. Their belief in designs where outside and inside are not at odds, the maintenance of trees for shade, and consideration of airflow are all rooted in the Portico culture.
“In pursuit of the contemporary styles, beauty inspired by colonial spaces, creative uses of wood, balusters and casement windows… things that are suitable for this climate…are seen less and less,” says Doris Gross.