(Rural School Haiti Contest)
Construction of a rural school in two phases (phase 1: 110m²; phase 2: 156m²).
The project must take into account the current (post-emergency) situation, potential risks and economic constraints.
TE NWA Community, Cabaret, Haiti.
Issued on September 23, 2019
The disasters that affected Haiti urge us to question our ways of handling catastrophies and their consequences. Three principles can be drawn from this proposal : protect, repair and learn.
In its very layout, the school project adapts to its environment’s constraints. The design integrates seismic bracing principles, hurricane-proof roofing orientation (slopes) and floor lifting (flood). Trees are also considered as a natural barrier, but far enough from the structure to ensure its safety if they came to fall.
The techniques here are simple (suited for self-building), allowing the project’s maintenance and evolution to run as a ‘learning work-site’. For instance, the peripheral walls’ modular panel fillings can be replaced (wicker-style weaving, wooden slats, brick laying) or adapted depending on specific needs or potential damage. The school is therefore not only a place for studying, it becomes a means of passing down local crafts and seismic/hurricane-proof construction techniques.
Common sense also involves consideration for resources management. This project was designed to be built with local materials : sisal, gabion, micro-concrete roof tiles and clay as mortar. The school project is part of a virtuous circle by supporting the area’s economic dynamism. The building’s central core acts as a rainwater recovery system supplying water points. Those are vital and help limit epidemic spreads (such as cholera).
As a conclusion, this project aims at repairing, both in a tangible (school) and intangible manner, using this work site as a way to connect people and make them proud of their local know-how.