Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations

Courtesy of ECOnnect

By now, we have all heard the mantra. In twenty years time, the world’s 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. , 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.

Beyond the Tent: Why Refugee Camps Need Architects (Now More than Ever)

Courtesy of refugeecamp.ca

In 2013 alone some 1 million people have poured out of to escape a civil conflict that has been raging for over two years. The total number of Syrian 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.

MASS Design Group’s Proposal to Reconstruct Haitian Hospital

© MASS Design Group

In September 2012, the Haitian Ministry of Economy and Finance called for the 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.

Iron Market Reconstruction / John McAslan + Partners

© Hufton+ Crow

Architects: John McAslan + Partners
Location: Port-au-Prince, Département de l’Ouest,
Architect In Charge: John McAslan
Area: 4,645 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Hufton+ Crow, Roger Leymone

2013 Foster + Partners Prize Awarded to John Naylor

Lakou’ / John Naylor

The Architectural Association and 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…

Notre Dame Haiti Cathedral Competition Entry / TABB Architecture

Courtesy of TABB Architecture

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 ,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.

World-Class Soccer Stadium Underway in Haiti

Courtesy of

Three years have passed since a tremendous earthquake devastated Haiti. The long 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!

Notre Dame de l’Assomption – National Cathedral Competition Entry / YCF Group

Courtesy of , ARCA Consulting, AFH (Architecture for Humanity)

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.

Notre Dame de l’Assomption – National Cathedral Competition Entry / NC-Office

Courtesy of

Recently destroyed by the 2010 Earthquake, ’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.

Haiti Cathedral Competition Entry / Sparano + Mooney Architecture

Courtesy of

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.

Update: Transitional Shelter Project in Haiti / MICA

© David Lopez

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 .  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.

USGBC and AIA announce second Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow

The United States Green Building Council () 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 will help educate and build together with local current and future builders of …this is the main reason why I joined Architecture for Humanity. I am here with others to work on the long-term approach. , as well as other post disaster areas, can benefit from this kind of transitional office with this mindset.”

USGBC partners with HOK to design Haiti Orphanage and Children’s Center

Aerial ©

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 () 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.”

Update: Transitional Shelter Project in Haiti / MICA

Exterior Rendering - Courtesy of David Lopez

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 , where a portion of the class travelled to 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.

Interview: Mark Gilbert on Designing Jacmel by Alexander Britell

Courtesy of

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.

Reconstruction Plan for Haiti / Trans_City Architecture and Urbanism

Courtesy of Trans_City Architecture and Urbanism

Over the last 18 months, Trans_City architecture and urbanism, has developed a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of Jacmel, based upon the concept of satellite cities located at the edge of the existing, earthquake-ravaged city center.(A concept developed in accordance with the universal design principals of the Reconstruction Framework of the Haitian Government)

The concept includes an urban masterplan, and a proposal for prefabricated houses, in which the building shell is industrially manufactured in Austria, and finished by local hand workers. In line with the content of the project, the architecture does not attempt to be spectacular. Rather, it is the holistic integration of the many levels of an urban system that makes this project interesting. More images and project description after the break.

FPM GAP Academy / I|K Studio

aerial

I|K Studio shared with us their masterplan design with an energy network for an academy outside of . This design will serve as a model of offset power production independent from a central utility. More images and project description after the break.

Transitional Shelter Design Study in Haiti by MICA

© Laurel Cummings

In March of 2011, a design-build class from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) received a grant in support of their efforts to design a shelter for disaster relief. The money from the grant was used to travel to Haiti to see conditions on the ground, 14 months after the earthquake that reportedly amassed some 230,000 fatalities.

The goal of the trip was to investigate the myriads of different shelter construction projects still ongoing as Haiti transitions from the emergency tents and tarpaulins that still populate the landscape, into temporary for the foreseeable future until permanent can be provided through rebuilding.

One of the more ambitious and impressionable projects we came across was the UberShelter.