Architecture or the shaping of the built environment is an immense expression of culture. “The story of houses is, indeed, the story of the people who built them”. (Acworth, 1949). While science and technology provides us with the know how, culture provides with the understanding of what we want to get out of the building and what impact we want it to have on our lives. The architecture of many of the traditional homes in Barbados stem from the British influences of medieval, Victorian, Georgian, and Jacobean designs. The natural limestone Barbados is composed of, formed the building blocks from which many of the grand homes were built, and the tropical climate led to gable roofs, large verandas, low rectangular shapes and sturdy shutters of the sash and jalousie windows.
Chattel (meaning moveable) homes came into play when plantation workers decided they wanted to live on the estate but either own or rent their own house. The chattel house was built on wood and set on blocks of coral, without a foundation so that it could easily move. These tiny chattel houses often showed remarkable designs of ornate framework, carved wooden banisters and miniature jalousie windows. Today, majority of locals within Barbados live in these beautifully designed chattel houses that are still built with no foundation so they can be fully mobile.