Earlier this year, we highlighted efforts by The Evangelical Alliance of Haiti along with Sustainable Healthcare Haiti (SHH) to rebuild much needed facilities in Haiti. Recently, Sho-Ping Chin and a small group of SHH members visited the site of the Haiti Children’s Hospital with Pasteur Dr. Jean Rigaud A. Antoine. The team also visited areas in and around Port-au-Prince. After determining the lay of the land, the team selected the location for the well and took soil samples for analysis. Additionally, the team reviewed long range planning and development considerations while vetting preliminary layouts and the project with the local engineering firm, Ticina.
In addition to visiting the site and meeting with a consortium of local interests, the team took a few trips to nearby Partners in Health facilities. These visits facilitated opportunities to study different approaches to the issues driving healthcare design and construction in Haiti. Initially the team traveled to the nearly completed teaching hospital in Mirebalais. A few miles inland from Mirebalais, located in the central plateau of Haiti, the team also visited the facilities at Zanmi Lasante at Cange.
Conclusions and goals gathered from the trip include:
• Form collaborative partnership with local government
• Environmental concerns dictate large open space not small closed spaces
• Rudimentary building system and technology
• Labor centric construction environment
• Locals have to eventually own operations and maintenance
Prior to the trip, the team developed diagrams to review variations of massing and circulation in conjunction with specific site topographies and environmental responses. Although different climatically, the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda designed by MASS Design Group and other precedents proved helpful in making certain design assumptions prior to the site visit.
To close the trip the team further explored the area and engaged in local community events. In addition, the team met with various groups including children at the Pasteur’s school and orphanage. And in conclusion, the team made the trip back to wintery Boston.
For further reading on this project:
“Brookline woman designing hospital to serve people in Haitian community”
February 21, 2012, Wicked Local Brookline