Norris Mitchell attended the St. John’s R.C. School, and was the first of two recipiemts who was awarded the St. John’s District Board Scholarship to the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS), the second was the late Sir Paul Scoon a few years later.
After obtaining his Senior Cambridge Cerificate in 1945, he returned to his alma mater, where he taught for 3 years, then worked the following 3 years in the Public Service.
In 1952 he left Grenada for Curacao where he worked as a laboratory technician at the Curacao Petroleum Industries Maskapie (CPIM). In 1956 he migrated to London, England where he read Architecture at the Northern Polytechnic School of Architecture (1956-61), now the University of North London; graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Architecture.
In 1961 he was awarded a Post Graduate Bursary from the World Universities Service (WUS) to the University of Rome as the top graduating West Indian student in Art and Architecture, where he obtained a Ceritificate in Urban Design.
In 1963 he became a Chartered Architect after satisfying the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Professional requirements for practicing architecture in England and the British Commonwealth, on completion of two years professional practise with Jackson & Edmonds – Achitects and Town Planners of London and Manchester.
In 1964-66 he worked in the capital city of Kaduna, with the Government of Northern Nigeria as Divisonal Architect responsible for project management of all new government buildings. From 1966-70 as Senior Architect at the Ministry of Works- Georgetown, Guyana and in 1970 established his own practice in Greorgetown as NORRIS MITCHELL ASSOCIATES (NMA).
Mitchell, with the help of the British Overseas Division representative in Guyana, and with the corporation and support of Vice Chancellor Dr. Denis Irvine, established the Dept. of Technical Studies in Architecture at the University of Guyana in 1969, which has since developed into the Dept. of Archictecture, and now offers a B.Arch degree in a four year programme.
Mitchell was the winner of a national architectural competition in 1971 for the design of the iconic Guyana National Cultural Centre, the largest performing arts theatre in the Commonwealth Caribbean; he has also designed several buildings for the University of Guyana, notably of which is the Faculty of Education Complex.
In 1974 he obtained a fellowship from the Commonwealth Foundation London, to Pursue a course in Historic Structures Preservation, at the School of Advanced Architecural Studies at the University of York – England and in 1976 another fellowship from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to undertake a survey of Research Laboratories in Ottawa, in order to obtain information and data for the design of the Institute of Science and Technology for the Guyana National Research Council.
From 1980-85 Mithcell was appointed a member of the Commonwealth Board of Architectural Education (CBAE), representing the Americas Region (Canada and the Commonwealth Caribbean). The CBAE is a Committeee of the Commonwealth Architectural Association (CAA) based in London, when at a CAA meeting in Sydney Australia in 1984 he presented a paper advocating the need for a Caribbean School of Architecure, which -with the support of the Britsih Governement and the Jamaican Institute of Architects, was realised in 1990 as part of (CAST)- the Collage of Arts, Science and Technology – now the University of Technology (U-Tech) at Mona Jamaica.
Mitchell migrated to Canada in 1982 where he became a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and practiced there up to 1987 when he returned to Grenada and re-established his firm: NORRIS MITCHELL ASSOCIATES.
Since returning to Grenada Mr. Mitchell has inter alia, been active in the preservation of our Natural and Build Heritage and is the founder of the Willie Redhead Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the awakening of our cultural identity by the Preservation and Renewal of our National Heritage. Mitchell served as President from 1994 – 2012, and is the author of a “CASE STUDY”, 1979 – of the Guyana National Cultural Centre – reviewed in 2012, and is the publisher of:
• Dynamics of Urban St. George (Text book) (Xlibris 2013)
ISBN Soft cover 978-1-4797-6605-05
• In the Shadow of the Palace (Memoir) (Book Logix 2013)
ISBN 978-1- 61005- 389 -1
Library of Congress Control No. 2013913264
Norris Mitchell: Founder/ President – Director of tWRF 1994 – 2012