“If I get a contract, so does the entire neighborhood.”
With these ten words, Haitian artisan Mackenzy Vil sums up the philosophy behind MASS Design Group‘s latest video series, “Lo-Fab.” Short for locally fabricated, the Lo-Fab videos follow in the footsteps of MASS Design Group’s provocative “Beyond the Building” series, advocating for a more holistic understanding of the processes that go into actually constructing a building, particularly when designing for communities in need.
The first video in the series documents Vil’s work in creating the sky-blue screen facade of the GHESKIO Cholera Center, in a community where Haitians are still dealing with the after-effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake. “On every project, we highlight and scale local innovation and ideas, hire local labor, and use local materials,” explains MASS Design Group, resulting in an influx of both money and dignity to the places where they work.
“Architecture and health are inseparable,” says Haitian doctor and founder of Gheskio in Michael Kimmelman’s latest New York Times piece In Haiti, Battling Disease With Open-Air Clinics. Recounting the devastating images of medical dysfunction that have circulated the internet since the Ebola epidemic, Kimmelman presents MASS Design Group’s nearly complete Port-au-Prince health clinics as a potential model for healthcare architecture worldwide. Combating cholera and tuberculosis with a modest, practical layout and open-air design, the new clinics will serve one of the city’s largest slums. Learn why Kimmelman declares them “handsome” and believes they will help eradicate disease in Haiti, here.
Architecture for Humanity has announced the end of their program in Haiti, effective from January 2015. The charitable organization, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, set up offices in Port-au-Prince in March 2010 in order to better help the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Through almost five years in Haiti, they have completed nearly 50 projects, including homes, medical clinics, offices, and the 13 buildings in their Haiti School Initiative. Their work has positively affected the lives of over 1 million Haitians, with their schools initiative alone providing education spaces for over 18,000 students.
Read on after the break for more on the end of Architecture for Humanity’s Haiti program, and images of their completed schools
By now, we have all heard the mantra. In twenty years time, the world’s cities will have grown from three to five billion people, forty percent of these urban dwellers will be living at or below the poverty line facing the constant threat of homelessness – scary statistics and even scarier implications.
ECOnnect, a Holland-based design firm, envisions a solution for these future housing shortages, one that could build a one-million-inhabitant city per week for the next twenty years for $10,000 per family. Peter Stoutjesdijk, architect at ECOnnect, created the concept after widespread devastation in Haiti caused by a massive earthquake left of hundreds of thousands of people homeless depending on tents for temporary relief.
In 2013 alone some 1 million people have poured out of Syria to escape a civil conflict that has been raging for over two years. The total number of Syrian refugees is well over 2 million, an unprecedented number and a disturbing reality that has put the host countries under immense infrastructural strain.
Host countries at least have a protocol they can follow, however. UN Handbooks are consulted and used to inform an appropriate approach to camp planning issues. Land is negotiated for and a grid layout is set. The method, while general, is meticulous – adequate for an issue with an expiration date.
Or at least it would be if the issue were, in fact, temporary.
In September 2012, the Haitian Ministry of Economy and Finance called for the reconstruction of the hospital of the State University of Haiti, a medical facility located in the heart of Port-au-Prince that has been operating in ruins since the 2010 earthquake. After the Ministry received large development grants from the US and France, the challenge for designers was to create an earthquake resistant hospital within the $48 million budget, while also phasing the construction to maintain an operational capacity of 500 beds. MASS Design Group was one of the design teams to come up with such a proposal.
For the team’s project description, read on.
The Architectural Association and Foster + Partners have announced John Naylor of Diploma Unit 16 as the 2013 Foster + Partners Prize recipient for his project ‘Bamboo Lakou’. Presented annually, the award is presented to an AA Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure.
Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, said: “John Naylor’s project demonstrates the ways in which infrastructural ideas – and architectural imagination – might today expand beyond the clichés of Modernism to become life itself, literally breathing life into communities, cities and entire countries – today and long into the future.”
More on the project after the break…
Designed by TABB Architecture, their proposal for the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Cathedral in Port au Prince optimizes resources, producing designed solutions and teaming up for a change. Designing a New Cathedral for Port-au-Prince,not only will imply a beautiful, energy saving, affordable building, but a complete strategy plan to generate the labor force in order to sustain the local economy, teaching people construction techniques to support future needs. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Three years have passed since a tremendous earthquake devastated Haiti. The long reconstruction process includes the construction of the country’s first stadium to be completed this year. Partners of Project Phoenix have created plans for Phoenix Stadium, a massive world-class professional soccer stadium soon to be located in Cite Soleil, Haiti. This project developed as a result of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative when collaboration began between Morad Fareed of Delos and Boby Duval of L’Athletique D’Haiti. The vision is to create a world-class stadium for soccer games as well as many other community functions.
Read more about Phoenix Stadium after the break!
Designed by YCF Group, in collaboration with ARCA Consulting and AFH Haiti (Architecture for Humanity), their proposal for the Notre Dame de l’Assomption draws on the life and culture of the Haitian people, while remembering the site’s history and the lives lost on January 12, 2010. Inspired by a Haitian fisherman’s boat, the project’s folded origami form aims links the new cathedral to the old cathedral’s former function as a lighthouse. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Recently destroyed by the 2010 Earthquake, Port-au-Prince’s new design for the National Cathedral is presented as an absolute plain wall of concrete which expresses the true character of the construction. Designed by NC-Office, the concrete material is not only structurally appropriate, but it also produces a somber cool space that absorbs light – forming an architecture of shadows. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Sparano + Mooney Architecture, they embraced the idea as light as a mediator for the central organizing principle for their proposal. The new Cathedral, a delicate dance between old and new, each contributes to its role in the creation of the new. The act of covering the precious ruins with a diaphanous, copper material creates the new space and form of the Cathedral which emerges as a dialogue between existing remains and new veil. More images and architects’ description after the break.
When we last heard from David Lopez and his students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) they were in the process of constructing a prototype of the Transitional Shelter for Disaster Relief in Haiti. The project started in a Design|Build studio in the Spring of 2011. Acquiring funds to prototype the design became a challenge. Students spent the summer and fall of 2011 completing the design and reaching out to organizations for donations and materials. WorldwideShelters.org and Whiting Turner Contracting Company gave critical donations that made it possible to begin construction.
Follow us after the break to catch up on the status of the project.
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announce Burtland Granvil, AIA, LEED AP as the new Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow. Succeeding the first Sustainability Design Fellow, Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP, Granvil will be working directly with the Haitian community at the Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding center based in Port-au-Prince.
“The earthquake didn’t take as many lives as the poor quality of construction did,” said Granvil. “Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center in Haiti will help educate and build together with local current and future builders of Haiti…this is the main reason why I joined Architecture for Humanity. I am here with others to work on the long-term approach. Haiti, as well as other post disaster areas, can benefit from this kind of transitional office with this mindset.”
Marking the two year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, we would like to share with you the important efforts of Project Haiti – a LEED Platinum orphanage and children’s center that is planned to be built in Port au Prince, Haiti. The project is lead by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and their official pro-bono design partner, HOK. Project Haiti not only focuses on the children, but also aims to create a “replicable, resilient model for rebuilding” that may serve as a practical teaching tool for the local community. The USGBC motto states, “Every story about green building is a story about people.”
In the Spring of 2011, the Design|Build studio at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) began researching the various influences impacting the design and construction of transitional shelters used in disaster relief. The research included a review of conditions in Haiti, where a portion of the class travelled to Port-Au-Prince over their Spring Break to check out some of the shelter types being constructed in response to the earthquake that devastated the area back in January of 2010.
Several case studies were investigated, including the Haiti Earthquake. The research was comprehensive. However, the impact of this survey on the outcome of transitional shelter was debatable – there were no “universal solutions”, and there was no panacea that could solve every scenario.
Mark Gilbert discusses redesigning and rebuilding the city of Jacmel, Haiti with Alexander Britell from Caribbean Journal. The architect and his colleagues at trans_city used New Orleans typologies and their concept of rapid-response housing to provide an economical reconstruction proposal that will provide long-term stability to the people of Jacmel.