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PART 1: THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF THE RESEARCH STUDIO OF THE ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION WITH BAMBOO IN HAITI 2012 - 2016 John Osmond Naylor, Aditya Aachi, Diego Perez Espitia, Rose Di Sarno, Doria Reyes Cรณrdova, Franck Vendryes, Nathalie Jolivert, Nancy Leconte


©2016 Architectural Association School of Architecture, 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES United Kingdom T +44 20 7887 4014 F +44 20 7414 0782 ©Texts John Osmond Naylor Doria Reyes Córdova Aditya Aachi Nathalie Jolivert Nancy Leconte Victoria Oshinusi Cover Photo Group 4 - Astrid Cam Aguinaga, Jupille Facile, and Parnel Presna // Kay Idantite // 2016 Visiting School Director Christopher Pierce Visiting School Coordinator Andrea Ghaddar Programme Head John Osmond Naylor AA Diploma Editor John Osmond Naylor Translation Nancy Leconte Images of bamboo prototype house construction sequence Marilou Veillard 2

No part of this publication must be reproduced, copied, or transmitted in any form or by any means - graphics, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, or information storage, and revival systems- without the written permission of the Architectural Association School of Architecture Visiting School.

All tutors on the AA Haiti Visiting School represent the Architectural Association School of Architecture, which as an independent School of Architecture is bound by certain principals to maintain its status as a charity in England and Wales. The Architectural Association, Inc. is a Registered Charity Incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No.171402. The Association’s principal activity is the operation of a school of architecture and a learned society. The primary object of the Association, as stated in its Memorandum of Association is ‘for the public benefit to promote and afford facilities

for the study of Architecture ...’




The Haiti Visiting School since 2014, would not have been able to exist without the support of our many gracious sponsors. We are overwhelmed not just by the initial support offered, but also by the continuing interest shown in what the programme and the students are achieving in Haiti. There are also private individuals who have offered many different types of support to the school, the staff and the students. We would equally like to thank them for their generous and deeply valued contributions. We welcome any collaborations, potential lecturers who wish to present relevant projects, and financial support. If you can offer any support, or would like more information, please contact to be a part of our community.




John Osmond Naylor, AA Diploma Director, AA Haiti Visiting School Port au Prince, Haiti, 20th November 2016

Programme Director’s Note

This book details 2012-2016, the last 4 years of the Architectural Association’s Visiting School in Haiti. This research based annual studio in experimental bamboo design and construction has evolved over 4 courses to the point now where we are a catalyst for real change in the mentality of Haitian construction. We wish long term to help foster a construction sector in Haiti which innovates using new technologies in order to utilise latent materials which can do so much restorative work to Haiti’s ecology. As well as this ongoing research agenda, we are currently working with the Haitian Government Ministère des Travaux Publics, Transports et Communications (Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications) and the Unite de Construction de Logements et de Batiments Publics (Housing and Public Building Construction Unit) to change the current building code and allow for bamboo structures to be approved by the planning authorities.

involving bamboo, and offering construction knowledge to continue to build a new skilled work force. We will be making our formal planning application with UCLBP in the early 2017 for one of the student projects from the Summer 2016, to be built in Port au Prince, in order to have bamboo for the first time implemented into the Haitian building code, and demonstrated as a material for people to live alongside, in an urban setting. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in so many ways, particularly the dedication of a small group of incredible people who believe in bamboo in Haiti and have worked tirelessly to: promote lightweight construction; the education of future designers and builders; and the use materials which can do so much to help this Country’s ecology.

Even though our formal workshops are only two weeks in duration, our work has never relented and a full time team of dedicated architects, designers, carpenters and ecologists are working tirelessly to promote bamboo and be a knowledge base to help others in Haiti wanting to use bamboo in construction. 2016 has seen us work in Haiti for almost five months, conducting two workshops and we have continued to be a source of bamboo construction knowledge even outside the formal dates of our courses. Being based in Haiti during hurricane Matthew, we saw first hand the effects of deforestation, and the need more than ever to build strong, lightweight buildings with materials that can bind, and protect the steep exposed hillsides. In response, we decided to extend our bamboo construction course in order to address the need for hurricane relief in the community we are working. In 2017 we have further plans to pursue both the research agenda of architectural design 7




Why Haiti?


2014 Course


A Global Issue



Why Bamboo?

Mehdi Martel, Analí Guzmán, and Karl Regis Lakou Granpa Wynne


The Emphasis on Computational Processes



The Architectural Association Visiting School and Haiti

Stephanie de la Rosa, Krystel Jeager and Jameson Alexis Woven Bamboo



The Long Term Agenda

Holly Kennedy, Samuel Ossé and Milechka Sterlin Ankandré


The People



John Naylor Bamboo Lakou Lakou Banbou

Nathalie Jolivert and Jean Eddy Samedi Pixelating Bamboo


2015 Course


Marc-Rochnal Louis Jean, Edward Robertson and Ke Er Zhang Bamboo Public Baths and Car Wash


Victoria Oshinusi, Samuel Ossé and Jacob Werbin Shade-Reward Scheme


John Naylor Experimental Bamboo


John Naylor Bamboo and the City


Nathalie Jolivert and John Naylor Reflections on 2015


Aditya Aachi Dictators, great lectures and bamboo houses


Schnight-dy Azilien, Tan Yen Lin and Masha Otello Enlivening


Aditya Aachi Bamboo and Bidonvilles



Victoria Oshinusi Port au Prince

Jupille Facile, Mercedes Hanche and Clichy Beauvil Tap Tap Market


2016 Course


John Naylor Hurricane Matthew



Doria Reyes Córdova Bamboo the Plant

Pablo Acevedo, Yukiko Yoshida, and Marc Rochenal Louis Jean Kay Parapli



Doria Reyes Córdova Bamboo the Construction Material

Yussef Agbo-Ola, Anthoula Tsagkataki, and Jean Widny Lordeus Kay Flote Ansanm


James Turner, Simon Abboud, and Ego Jusmé Kay Banbou


Astrid Cam Aguinaga, Jupille Facile, and Parnel Presna Kay Idantite


Hsu Myat Aung, Schnight-dy Azilien, and Junior Emmanuel Vwaznaj se Fanmniy


Jorge Mayorga, Regine Tesserot Fabius, and Elysée Morancy Banbouvil


2016 Fall Course - Constructing The First Bamboo Prototype


Marilou Veillard Transportable Community Centre and School


Ivan O’Garro Banbou en Ayiti


Gabriela Estrada Bamboo Childrens’ Centre


Tamer Remzi Kavlak Parabolic Applications


Graciela Lopez Charcoal Making Kitchens


2016 Fall Course Part II Hurricane Matthew Roofing Retrofits


2017 Prototype Certifying a Bamboo Structure in the City


Phase 1 - Foundations and Visitor Centre


Phase 2 - The Bamboo Structure


Phase 3 Completed Prototype


Student Life


Gardiner and Theobald Award


A building site in Port au Prince, December 2012.


Aerial photo of the Dominican - Haitian border, showing the difference in forest coverage.

Why Haiti?

Poukisa se Ayiti?

At the local time of 16:53 on 12th January 2010 an earthquake of 7.0 hit one of the most densely populated suburbs of Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince. (1) An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. 250,000 residences, 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed, a million people homeless and up to 316,000 people dead. (2)

12 Janvye 2010 lè li te fè 04:53 yon tranbleman tè ki te rive 7.0 frape yonn nan zòn ki gen plis moun nan capital Ayiti a, ki se vil Pòtoprens. (1) Yo estime twa milyon moun te sibi nan tranbleman tè sa a. 250,000 kay ak 30,000 batiman komès tonbe, yon milyon moun vin nan lari epi prèske 316,000 moun mouri. (2)

To put the shear scale of 2010 in context, one month later an earthquake 500 times more powerful, hit central Chile resulting in the deaths of 525. The 12th January 2010 was a disaster of Haiti’s lack of lightweight building materials, working practices, and construction, not nature. Recovery efforts resulted in an immediate global outpouring of aid and financial support for Haiti, a nation so embroiled in debt and widespread poverty that an internal response to the disaster was virtually impossible. While the aid response haphazardly attempted to address the immediate circumstances of the situation in Haiti, it failed to assess the natural disaster as an opportunity to address deep-seeded issues within the country and to safeguard and improve the quality of life in Haiti with long term solutions. (3) The problems of the Haitian construction industry are widely accepted. However, Haiti has a perfect storm scenario which makes her urban landscape extremely unforgiving. The country has suffered from immense deforestation over the latter half of the twentieth century, which has resulted in the eradication of all but 2% of Haiti’s forests (4) due to agriculture and poverty. As a sad twist the nitrogen in the soil has washed into the sea and destroyed coastal fishing economies, (5) whilst the deposits from the deforested hills have filled the coastal areas with loose alluvial soil. These areas are susceptible to liquefaction in any seismic activity (6), with Port au Prince continuing to grown on just such a terrain. In addition to the lack of building quality, the

Pou ka konpran eta sa ki te pase 2010 la, yon mwa apre, yon tranbleman tè ki te gen 500 fwa plis fòs, pase nan sant peyi Chile li fè 525 mò. Lakòz 12 Janvye 2010 te yon katastròf se paske Ayiti pa gen materyo konstriksyon legè, fason travay konstriksyon yo fèt epi eta batiman yo, se pa te lanati ki te kòz. Zefò pou soti nan sitiasyon sa bay pou resilta yon mas èd ki soti lòtbò ak sipò finansye pou Ayiti, yon peyi dèt ak lamizè sitèlman ap toufonnen li pa tap ka fè anyen pou tèt li devan katastròf sa. Men pandan èd entanasyonal la tap tatonnen pou li wè koman li te ka reponn ak igans sitiasyon an, li pa janm evalye koman li te ka wè katastròf sa tankou yon opòtinite pou li tou jwenn solisyon kap kenbe pou pwoblèm peyi a ap konfronte ak pote amelyorasyon nan nivo vi ayisyen. (3) Yo rekonèt pwoblèm sektè constriksyon ayisyen an ap konfronte. Epoutan, jan ibanizasyon fèt an Ayiti se atò ap gen pwoblèm e li pap gen pitye. Peyi a soufri anpil debwazman nan dezyèm mwatye ventyèm syèk la akòz lamizè ak agrikilti, ki fè se 2% pye bwa sèlman ki rete (4). Mete sou sa, lè tè a desann nan lanmè a, li plen tout kòt la epi nitrojèn ki nan tè a vide nan dlo lanmè a kote li vin detwi biznis lapèch la sou kòt yo. (5) Tout zòn sa yo gen plis danje pou yo ramoli – sa yo rele likefaksyon – nan nenpòt ki tranbleman tè (6), epi se nan tè sa yo Pòtoprens kontinye ap pran ekspansyon. Mete sou pwòblem batiman yo ki mal konstwi yo, èd la yo te pote a vin fè gen plis moun toujou nan kapital la, ki fè si demen maten yon lòt trambleman tè ta va pase, kantite mò lap fè ka pi plis toujou pase sa 12 janvye 2010 la.



The comparative effects of the Port au Prince earthquake, to another major earthquake of 2010.



Spiral showing 200 years of deforestsation in Haiti, and the relationship to the increase in the urban/rural population makeup and density of urban areas.

centralised aid effort following the earthquake has increased the capital’s population significantly and therefore, if the earthquake was to strike tomorrow, the death toll would probably be greater than in January 2010. The largest and most deadly effect of deforestation in Haiti has been removal of timber as a material for the local construction industry. The future for the Haitian construction sector has to be lightweight materials. Port au Prince’s timber vernacular ‘gingerbread architecture’ proved this, as ironically, this century old timber framed homes in the capital remained standing.

Konsekans debwazman an ki pi gwo epi pi fatal la tou se koupe pye bwa yo pou sèvi nan sektè konstriksyon an. Pou sektè sa ka kontinye, fòk li chèche materyo ki leje. Kay tipik Pòtoprens ki fèt ak bwa yo rele Gingerbrèd la vin montre nou sa paske ak tout yo gen pase sièk kanpe, yo la toujou malgre sa ki te pase a. Senk lane fin pase apre tranblemen tè a, yo pa ka kontinye ap rele Ayiti zòn desas anko. Peyi a konnye a vin jwen yon chans pou li ka retounen bati pi byen lè lap sèvi ak mwayen konstriksyon ki leje, dirab ak gen plis sekirite.

Five years later, post-earthquake Haiti can no longer be considered a disaster relief zone. The country is now faced with the rare opportunity to rebuild better by establishing a culture of sustainable, lightweight, secure building practices. 1. United States Geological Survey data 2. Columbia Journalism Review, “Two Years Later, Haitian Earthquake Death Toll in Dispute”, 20 January 2012 3. New York Times, Rebuilding in Haiti Lags After Billions in Post-Quake Aid http://www.nytimes. com/2012/12/24/world/americas/in-aiding-quake-battered-haiti-lofty-hopes-and-hard-truths.html?_r=0 4. Country Profile: Haiti. Library of Congress Federal Research Division, May 2006 5. Threats to coral reefs - Endangered Species International 6. The Institution of Structural Engineers: EEFIT Haiti earthquake report published http://www.istructe. org/news-articles/2011/industry-news/eefit-haiti-earthquake-report-published



A Global Issue

Yon sitiyasyon ki toupatou sou tè a

The deforestation that has afflicted Haiti fits into a global trend. In 2010 the World Resources Institute revealed that the planet has lost 85% of its forest coverage as a result of deforestation, (1) and global rates of deforestation are increasing. Countries like Malaysia see water thirsty palm oil plantations replace virgin forest sucking the water table dry and causing drought and soil erosion. (2) The worlds demand for beef is seeing the Amazon rainforest eliminated at an alarming rate. (3)

Debwazman kap ravaje Ayiti a se yon fenomèn ki fèt tout kote sou tè a. An 2010 Institi Resous Mondial lan fè nou konnen panèt tè a pèdi 85% forè ki te konn pouse sou li yo akòz debwazman, (1) epi vitès debwazman nan monn nan vin pi rapid. Peyi tankou Malezi rive retire forè li yo pou mete plantasyon pye palm pou fè lwil kap bwè tout dlo nan tè a epi vin kòz sechrès, erozyon epi sous dlo ap tari. (2) Moun tèlman mange viann bèf sou tè a, yo vin ap koupe forè Amazon nan pi rapid toujou. (3)

Deforestation in Haiti has local consequences however the accumulative effect of these globally compound themselves to create a world crisis of rising temperatures, atmospheric pollution, lost species, and populations vulnerable to deadly landslides.

Debwazman Ayiti gen konsekans lokal, men tout ti pwoblem sa yo sou tè a ap mete ansanm pou vin fè yon kriz mondyal kote ap vin fè pi cho, vin gen salte nan lè a, gen seri de bèt kap disparèt, epi popilasyon yo vin an danje nan ka gen glisman teren.

In Haiti like many developing countries deforestation has removed lightweight materials from the construction sector and this is a pattern being replicated around the world. Where developing countries would often use timber and bamboo, the cement block has taken precedence. Standard methods of construction for the majority of residential, commercial and civic structures in Haiti involve the use of unreinforced concrete block and are executed by an unskilled labour force.

Nan peyi d’Ayiti tankou nan anpil lòt peyi kap devlope debwazman vin kòz materyo leje yo pa sèvi nan konstriksyon anko e sa se yon chema ka trase sou tout tè a. Kote peyi kap devlope yo te ka sèvi ak bwa oswa banbou, blok siman vin pran plas li. Fason pifò kay, batiman komès ak batiman leta konstwi nan peyi d’Ayiti se ak blok beton san ranfòsman epi ak bòs ki pa fòme.

Such building practices are not unique only to Haiti, as a significant percentage of the developing world’s population inhabits buildings of similar attributes; structurally unstable buildings constructed without the oversight of knowledgeable and experienced engineers and architects. According to the UNHABITAT in a 2012 study (4), around 33% of the urban population in the developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people, lived in slums, many of which are in areas exposed to huge seismic and hurricane risks. Picture opposite: The Bidonvilles (informal settlements) of Port au Prince.

Fason sa yo se pa Ayiti sèlman yo fèt, paske anpil nan popilasyon peyi kap devlope yo rete nan kay ki fèt menm jan; batiman kote estrikti a pa stab epi ki konstwi san yon enjenyè oswa yon achitèk pa sipèvise li. Jan UN-HABITAT fè nou konnen nan yon etid ki te fèt an 2012 (4), preske 33% popilasyon kap viv nan vil yo nan peyi kap devlope yo an 2012, oswa preske 863 milyon moun ap viv nan bidonvil, pifò nan yo nan zòn ki gen danje tranbleman tè ak siclòn. Kou sa adapte anpil ak sitiasyon klima ak kilti Ayiti a, men depi nou egziste, deviz nou nan travay nou ak fason nou travay se “Panse Global, Aji Lokal”.

This course is very much tailored to the climatic and cultural contexts of Haiti however since inception, the mantra of, ‘Think Global, 17

The Bidonville area of Baillergeau, in Port au Prince.


The deforested hillsides, South of Port au Prince.

Act Local’, is embedded into our practices and portfolio of work. 1. Global Forest Watch World Resources Institute 2. Article 01/02/11: The Telegraph - Malaysia destroying its forests three times faster than all Asia combined earthnews/8295896/Malaysia-destroying-its-foreststhree-times-faster-than-all-Asia-combined.html 3. Article 31/05/09: The Guardian - Amazon rainforests pay the price as demand for beef soars Federal Research Division 4. UNHABITAT State of the Worlds Cities Report 2012/2013 https://sustainabledevelopment.



Why Bamboo?

Poukisa banbou?

The issue of deforestation has, in recent years, been tackled with investment in bamboo. The story of bamboo in Haiti started in the 1950s when Victor Wynne began a process of conserving an area of forested land in the midst of widespread deforestation. He looked at ways of improving and repairing the ecology of the island and introduced additional species of bamboo to Haiti. Many of which flourished. Bamboo is a truly remarkable plant and Haiti’s mountainous territory makes it an ideal location for rapid growth and industry development.

Yo takle pwoblèm debwazman depi kèk lane ak envèstisman nan banbou. Istwa banbou an Ayiti komanse nan ane 1950 yo lè Victor Wynne komanse ak yon sistèm konsèvation yon ti moso forè nan mitan yon pakèt zon kap debwaze. Li te chèche moyen pou repare epi fè ekoloji zile a miyò epi li vini ak lòt espès banbou Ayiti. Anpil nan yo te pran. Banbou a se yon plant ki sezisan e Ayiti ki plen mòn yon bon zòn pou li pouse vit epi pèmèt devlope sektè sa.

Speed of Growth Considered as a grass and as fast growing, bamboo can grow up to one meter per day. The construction grade bamboo Guadua grows 80 percent of her volume in the first 3 months. This can be a quick source of material for charcoal production to take the burden from the slow growing trees currently deforested at an unsustainable rate for that very fuel source. After this initial growth spurt over the next 4-5 years guadua can grow up to 30 metres tall. Haiti’s Topography 65% of this island nation is over a 7% gradient and bamboo grown on an incline drains faster and becomes stronger than bamboo grown on the flat. With the correct regulation, Haiti has the potential to produce some of the best construction grade bamboo in the world. Water Absorption One hectare of Guadua Bamboo can absorb up to 30,000 litres of water during the hurricane season and deposit this slowly back into the soil. With landslides being the deadly result of deforestation during these seasons this can be an instant life saver to rural communities in Haiti.

Picture opposite: The bamboo forests of Marmelade, Northern Haiti.

Carbon Absorption Bamboo can sequester up to twice as much carbon as trees. Given the worldwide drive to curb carbon emissions through carbon offset schemes, if Haiti were to start growing bamboo

Vitès Kwasans li Banbou a se yon zèb e li pouse rapid, li ka pouse yon mèt pa jou. Banbou ki bon pou konstriksyon an yo rele Guada pouse 80% volim li nan 3 premye mwa yo. Sa ka tounen yon bon sous materyo pou fè chabon pou retire chay la sou pye bwa yo ki pouse pi dousman epi kap koupe twòp pou fè chabon. Apre premye pouse rapid sa, guada a ka rive jiska 30m nan espas 4 a 5 lane. Topografi Ayiti 65% peyi a sou yon pant pi wo pase 7% e banbou ki pouse sou yon pant pèdi sèv li pi vit epi gen plis fòs pase banbou ki pouse nan plèn. Ak bon jan règleman, Ayiti ka pwodi yonn nan pi bon banbou konstriskyon nan mond lan. Water Absorption/ Koman li bwè dlo Yon ekta banbou Guadua ka bwè preske 30,000 lit dlo nan sezon siklòn epi retounen l’tou dousman nan sol la. Glisman teren se yon nan pi gwo menas debwazman nan epòk sa yo, banou a ka sove moun nan zòn andeyò yo. Carbon Absorption/ Koman li rale kabòn Banbou a ka kapte de fwa plis kabòn pase yon pye bwa. Lè nap gade jan tout kote yap cheche desann nan kantite kabòn kap pwodwi, si Ayiti ta va komanse plante banbou pou fè konstriksyon, banbou a ka rapote. Sa tap non sèlman peye pou plante banbou a, men li tap yon sous lajan pou plantè yo.



for construction, then bamboo could earn money for the grower. This would not only pay for the bamboo cultivation, but also provide livelihoods to those growing bamboo as well. A New Economy Bamboo is used worldwide as a hard wearing, carbon friendly material for buildings and products, from bamboo bikes and skateboards to bamboo fashion and flooring. The work of the AA Haiti Visiting School explores a design methodology which has applications extending beyond building. The software students learn, deign rigour they follow and the exposure to bamboo gives all who take part the ability to test the limits of this new material and articulate their own vision into drawings, models and images. If the growing values of bamboo products is to be realised in Haiti, it is these skills which will boots the value of the material within the economy.

Yon lòt ekonomi Yo sèvi ak banbou toupatou tankou yon materyo ki di, ki pa pwodwi kabòn pou konstriksyon ak lot pwodwi tankou bisiklèt, planch a roulèt, rad ad materyel pou fè sol. Travay AA Atelye a ap eksplore yon metodoloji desen ki ka lòt itilite pase sèlman batiman an. Lojisyel yo etidyan yo ap aprann nan, disiplin yo swiz la ak konnen yo vin konnen banbou a vin bay tout moun ki patisipe kapasite pou yo ka teste limit materyo nèf sa epi vin devlope pwòp vizyon yo ak desen, makèt ak imaj. Si yo dwe rekonèt valè bagay ki fèt ak banbou en Ayiti, se konesans sa yo kap voye monte valè materyo a nan ekonomi an.

Picture opposite: The bamboo forests of Marmelade, Northern Haiti.


Students using the software Rhinoceros 3D, to design bamboo structures.


Contextualising projects for Haiti’s hurricane winds, using Autodesk Flow.

The Emphasis on Computational Processes

Embedded in all the curricula we have taught, is an emphasis on a range of software with architectural applications which can allow students to test and articulate their ideas and projects to a greater level. We find that most students in Haiti studying in university have easy access to computers and with a huge range of software available, many of which open source, there is no excuse why students are unable to test their work in the context of Haiti’s hurricane, solar, and seismic setting. Our course uses all the following pieces of software teaching them though various methods which allows students to find easy application in their own work. We make it very clear that the ability of computer programmes to test structure, or wind load, is no substitute for the relevant industry professional in that field. However given the situation in Haiti where many regulations are unenforced it can only help to give designers more tools through the design stages of their work and raise the awareness of these issues and the ways to mitigate the dangers of building in such a seismic and hurricane prone area.

Rhinoceros 3D This NURBS (Non-uniform rational B-spline) software is our primary modelling software. This has been used as a tool for both abstract form finding as a response to student site observations, a software to produce technical drawings and diagrams, and our means of keeping an accurate model of our bamboo structures to verify details onsite.

Grasshopper This software allows the parametrisation of a model in Rhino. Instead of building with numeric input it is possible to have

variable inputs which will change and react to new parameters. This allows us to quickly remodel based on new data, and also find optimal solutions to design challenges given to us through the results of wind, solar and structural analysis.

Ecotect and Geco The climate analysis software is used by students to test and optimise architectural designs based on solar information. Using the plug in Geco, students are then able to take this solar data directly into Grasshopper and find optimal design solutions based on accurate, complex solar data in Haiti. Given the fact bamboo should not be exposed to regular direct sunlight, this software can affect the design in a way to optimally protect the structure.

Karamba This is a finite element analysis which allows us to carry out structural testing on our bamboo designs.

V-Ray This rendering software allows students to render and visualise their bamboo architectural designs in a way which is easily communicative to others.

Autodesk Flow Given the risk of hurricanes confronting any building project in Haiti, we place a lot of importance on testing projects against hurricane winds. We use this as a means of obtaining numeric data regarding pressure 25

Students being tutored on Grasshopper, a parametric plug in for Rhino.


The software Karamba, being used to perform Finite Element Analysis, to simulate gravity and wind loads on the bamboo structure.

build up on models and then we can input these as point load forces in Karamba in order to see how the design can respond to the wind pressure either by reinforcing the structural system, or streamlining the design..

Adobe Create Suite This array of presentation programmes gives a range of tools to post produce work and create compelling images, diagrams and documents in order to communicate the architectural projects.

Diego Perez Espitia, lecturing students on Grasshopper on the 2015 course.


The Architectural Association, School of Architecutre, at Bedford Square in London.


An intensive ratio of tutors to students, photo from the 2015 course.

The Architectural Association Visiting School and Haiti

AA School an Ayiti

Unique, dynamic, independent and international, the Architectural Association (AA) was originally set up in 1847 as a public forum and learned society. However the AA is much more than the UK’s oldest school of architecture. What makes the teaching and learning of architecture unique at the AA is found in the demand it places on teachers as well as their students, to clearly communicate the larger cultural agendas relating to where they think architecture is heading.

Inik, dinamik, endepandan e entènasyonal, Architectural Association (AA) te premye parèt an 1847 tankou yon fowòm piblik ak yon sosyete pou aprann. Men AA se pa sèlman lekòl achitèkti ki pi ansyen nan UK. Sa ki fè ansèyman ak apran achitèkti spesyal nan AA se egzijan yo fè pwofesè tankou elèv yo pou montwe klè pwogram kiltirèl yo ki asosye ak kote yo panse achitèkti a ap ale.

The AA Visiting School is an extension to and embodiment of the AA School’s ‘unit system’ of teaching and learning architecture. The hallmark of this model is the delivery of distinctive, highly focused design agendas delivered to a small collaborative group of students, architects and other creative people in the development of projects. The AA VS is similarly about learning, exploring, collaborating and experimenting in order to reimagine the shape, form and expectations of architectural education. The Haiti Visiting School is one such altruistic incarnation in which the next generation of Haitian architects study alongside students and designers from all over the world in this intensively socialised, collective teaching and learning model. This agenda provides substantive support to those in Haiti trying to propagate bamboo as both an ecological saviour, and response to the disproportionate devastation of the 2010 earthquake. The AA Haiti Visiting School is an annual workshop in experimental architectural design which develops projects contextualised for the climate and culture of Haiti and materiality of bamboo. Students are pushed, immersed, and intensively tutored in a range of new skills to absorb, imagine and create. This agenda aims to propose a vision for a lightweight contemporary Haitian built environment and demonstrate the role and importance of the architect as designer.

Lekòl AA Visiting School lan se yon ekstansyon lekòl AA ki sèvi ak menm sistèm inite li genyen pou anseye epi aprann achitèkti. Mak fabrik metòd sa a se jan li bay kalite pwogram ki diferan epi ki santre sou desen yon ti gwoup kap kolabore fè ki genyen etidyan, achitèk ak lòt moun ki kreatif nan devlope pwojè. AA VS gen pou misyon aprann, eksplore, kolabore epi eksperimante nan chèche imajine fòm ak atant ki genyen sou yon edikasyon nan achitèkti. Ayiti VS lan fèt yon fason pou pwochen jenerasyon achitèk ayisyen an ka etidye ansanm ak etidyan ak dizaynè ki soti nan tout kalite peyi sou baz yon modèl kolektif, entans epi sosyal pour anseye ak aprann. Pwogram sa bay sa ki Ayiti yo kont sipò nan eseye fè konnen banbou a tankou yon sovè ekolojik ak yon repons a tout dega ki te fèt nan tranbleman tè 2010 la. AA Ayiti VS la fèt chak ane tankou yon atelye sou kreasyon eksperimental sou achitèkti ki devlope pwojè ki adapte a klima ak kilti Ayiti a epi ak materyo banbou a. Yo bay elèv yo defi, mete yo nan anbians lan epi akonpaye yo nan aprann lòt konpetans pou yo ka konprann, imajine epi kreye. Objektif pwogram sa se bay yon vizyon pou yon anvironman bati an Ayiti ki leje ak kontanporen epi montre wòl ak enpòtans achitèk la kòm dizaynè.


The library of the AA School.


Students on the Arcadins coast, Haiti.

The school’s avant-garde portfolio. The Swoosh Pavilion by AA Intermediate 2.

An international network of architectural discourse.


Doria Reyes Cordova, presenting bamboo architecture to school children at the Kenscoff Open House, Kenscoff, Haiti, October 2016.




$$$$$ $$$$$


2014 E X P EE XRPI M ER EN I MT EANL T A L BAMBOO BAMBOO 2-12 JANUARY 2-12 JANUARY 2014 2014 Students Students were were asked asked to to design design a 100 asqm 100bamboo sqm bamboo pavilionpavilion for Kenscoff. for Kenscoff. This This rural setting rural setting came with came many with many challenges challenges as students as students tackledtackled the topography, the topography, and and issue ofissue deforestation of deforestation on the on the site and site the andexposure the exposure to to hurricane hurricane winds. winds.

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The Long Term Agenda

Objektif pwogram nan pou pi devan

Equip local students with the technological capacity to design for climatic and seismic conditions, on par with those in first world architecture schools and offices. • Develop a portfolio of work showcasing the aesthetic potential of bamboo architecture. • Engage students, design professionals and builders in a construction course using domestically grown bamboo, demonstrating both construction techniques and existing infrastructure so skills can be disseminated. • Create a platform linking bamboo growers, land owners, and the construction industry together in Haiti while showcasing skills of those in Haiti internationally.


Ekipe etidyan lokal yo ak kapasite teknik pou fè desen pou sitiasyon klima ak tranbleman tè, menm jan ak zòt ki soti nan lekòl ak biwo achitèkti gran peyi. • Monte yon dosye travay yo fè ki montre potansyèl estetik achitèkti banbou a genyen ladan l’. • Fè etidyan ak profesyonèl nan dizayn ak konstriksyon patisipe nan yon fòmasyon sou konstriksyon kote lap sèvi ak banbou ki pouse lakay, kote yap aprann teknik konstriksyon ansanm ak enfrastrikti ki la deja pou konesans lan ka al jwenn lòt moun. • Kreye yon platfòm kap fè moun ki gen plantasyon banbou, moun ki gen tè ak sektè konstriksyon an nan peyi d’Ayiti kontre pandan lap montre tou dwate moun peyi a lòt bò dlo.




With 4 With sites 4insites the heart in theofheart the of the owntown students were asked downtown students were asked o formulate a programme as to formulate a programme as as a design. Students well aswell a design. Students were were by ARUP to implement oined joined by ARUP to implement bamboo intoprojects. their projects. amboo into their Our Our extensive xtensive lecture lecture series series exposed students to the political xposed students to the political of building in an urban ssues issues of building in an urban etting setting in Haiti.

EXPERIMENTAL EXPERIMENTAL BAMBOO BAMBOO II II 30 JULY-11 30 JULY-11 AUGUST AUGUST 2016 2016 For thirteen For thirteen days indays the summer in the summer of 2016of 2016 six tutors six tutors and eighteen and eighteen students students from from aroundaround the world theand world Haiti andwere Haitiworking were working to design to design a 25sqm a 25sqm bamboo bamboo ‘core house’. ‘core house’. We were We working were working between between the Port theauPort au Prince Prince Bidonville Bidonville of Baillergeau, of Baillergeau, and theand the bamboo bamboo plantations plantations of the north of theofnorth Haitiof in Haiti in Marmelade. Marmelade. The dwelling The dwelling being designed being designed was to be was straightforwardly to be straightforwardly constructed constructed by by the family the family or occupant or occupant for less for than less than $7,700 $7,700 and would andaffectionately would affectionately introduce introduce bamboo bamboo as a as newa material new material to liveto live FIRSTFIRST PROTOTYPE PROTOTYPE alongside. alongside. This dwelling This dwelling is to beis initially to be initially OCTOBER 2016 2016 designed designed for a family for a family and/or and/or owner owner to toOCTOBER build a build minimal a minimal one or one two room or twodwelling. room dwelling. In October In October 2016, we 2016, will we be will building be building a smallafirst small first prototype. This project This project will allow willus allow to teach us tothe teach the The design The design had tohad taketo into takeaccount into accountprototype. necessary skills toskills a team to a of team carpenters of carpenters and and expansion expansion in the in event the the event owners the owners can cannecessary engineers to worktowith work bamboo with bamboo on a real onproject. a real project. afford and afford space and allows space allows for an additional for an additionalengineers This small firstprototype small prototype is designed is designed to educate to educate buildingbuilding at the back at theorback the side or the of side the lot of the lotThis first a large a group large of group people of people with the with necessary the necessary skills skills allowing allowing the home the to home increase to increase in size in assize as build components that can that becan used beinused theirin their the economic the economic situation situation or the family or the size family sizeto buildtocomponents own construction, own construction, and also andprovide also provide us withusa with a increases. increases. team of team skilled of skilled labourers labourers to employ to employ in the in the Summer Summer of 2017ofon 2017 the on second the second prototype. prototype. We We will be will teaching be teaching 4 key 4skills key as skills wellasaswell other as other sustainable sustainable buildingbuilding techniques techniques and software and software skills. The skills. 4 The main4skills main are skills below: are below: columns; columns; flooring; flooring; roofingroofing and bahareque. and bahareque. These can These be can be used instantly used instantly by those by on those the on course the course to adapt to adapt existingexisting structures. structures.

BAILLERGEAU BAILLERGEAU PROTOTYPE PROTOTYPE SUMMER SUMMER 2017 2017 Once Once we have we have built the built October the October prototype, prototype, we will we usewill theuse team thethat team has that has been trained been trained as a source as a source of labour of to labour buildto build the second the second larger larger prototype prototype in in Baillergeau. Baillergeau. This design This design has been has been selected selected by UCLBP by UCLBP to be the to prototype be the prototype of of the firstthe fullfirst scale full bamboo scale bamboo ‘core house’. ‘core house’. We willWe be will spending be spending November November 2016 -2016 June 2017 Juneas2017 a time as to a time get structural to get structural input input and complete and complete all the all necessary the necessary documents documents in order in to order formally to formally build abuild a house house on government on government land inland PortinauPort au Prince.Prince.

LONGLONG TERMTERM EDUCATION EDUCATION PROGRAMME PROGRAMME SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL SCHOOL 2017 2017 ONWARDS ONWARDS The long Theterm longplan termis plan to make is to sure makethat sure thethat skills thewe skills have we have been promoting been promoting and teaching and teaching for thefor past thefew past years few are years are embedded embedded in a long in term a long sustainable term sustainable programme programme in Haiti.inWe Haiti. We would would like thelike software the software and construction and construction knowledge knowledge can can remain remain in Haiti. The Architectural The Architectural Association Association School School of Architecture of Architecture is is dedicated dedicated to promoting to promoting sustainable sustainable architecture architecture in Haitiinand Haiti and would would be willing be willing to partner to partner a Haitian a Haitian organisation organisation or or University University in orderintoorder maketosure make that sure thisthat long this term long plan term could plan could be a reality. be a reality.

This fullThis scale fullstructure scale structure we will we be building will be building in the Summer in the Summer of 2017. of 2017.





The People

The teaching staff on the AA Haiti Visiting School comprises of working architects and graduates of all levels of the AA School. The tutor student ratio of 5:1 allows the opportunity for students to closely engage with professionals from all over the world whom have worked for some of the largest and most sought after architectural practices. To supplement the workshop, a wide array of architectural and cultural lectures are offered and delivered by local professionals and tutors. This aims to embolden the student work with an architectural knowledge of bamboo and the local climatic and cultural vernacular, as well as the history of this uniquely vibrant location and culture.



John Osmond Naylor (Programme Director) Architectural Association

Originally from South Shields, UK, John graduated from the Architectural Association in 2013. He won the AA Holloway Prize and the Fosters Prize for Sustainable Infrastructure for his final thesis project based in Haiti. He is interested in the socially and ecologically regenerative potential of architecture and seeks to invoke this through fusing cutting edge computational tools with the craft of bamboo construction. John has worked in London, Paris and Beijing for firms including MAD-China, Farshid Moussavi Architecture, rare architects, a research assistant at SUTD in Singapore and has recently been working alongside Jรถrg Stamm in Indonesia and Mexico. He has taught at the Architectural Association (London); Tsinghua University (Beijing); the Leeds School of Architecture (UK); as well as being an invited speaker at the 3rd Mexican Bamboo Congress in Huatusco, Mexico. He continues to direct the AA Visiting School in Haiti.



Diego Perez Espitia PerezReiter Architects Bogota, Colombia

Diego Perez-Espitia is a registered Colombian architect. He graduated with honours from University of Los Andes (2000) and obtained his Masters degree in Architecture and Urbanism with a thesis on Parametric Urbanism at the Architectural Association’s Design Research Lab (2008). For the last seven years his work has focused on the application of algorithmic design techniques at a wide range of urban and architecture design projects. Diego has worked for Zaha Hadid Architects and MAD Architects, where he founded and lead the Parametric Design Team. He is now founding partner at PerezReiter Architects, based in Colombia and Austria, where he currently explores the potentials and constraints of generative design and digital fabrication through architecture and interior design commissions. Diego has taught at University of Los Andes (Bogota), Tsinghua University (Beijing) and the Architectural Association (London), and has lectured at universities and design institutes in Colombia, Wales, England, Turkey and China. He is Director of the AA Bogota Visiting School.



Rose Di Sarno New York, USA

Rose graduated from the University of Southern California in 2008 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. During her time at USC, Rose travelled extensively through Southeast Asia, observing and studying the adaptive modernization of densely populated countries in which the extremes of the economic spectrum are visible. Paired with a team of students from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Rose worked to develop sensitive, site specific architectural solutions for over-crowded, under-funded schools in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Professionally, Rose has worked in Beijing, China, where her projects ranged in scale from single family residential projects, to urban art installations, cultural centres and large scale commercial developments. She currently lives and works in New York.



Aditya Aachi Cullinan Studio London, UK

Aditya is currently an Architect at Cullinan Studio in London. He gained his undergraduate degree at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and his Diploma at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. While at the Architectural Association he was awarded the Foster+Partners and AA prize for Infrastructure. Aditya is interested in exploring the role of the architect in humanitarian and socio-politically complex situations. He has worked with various NGO’s and charities as well as the UN to deliver and develop both architectural projects and consultation tools. While working internationally for architecture practices such as Grimshaw Architects and Foster+ Partners, Aditya pursued his interests in infrastructure and political lobbying. He was part of the design team for the Lubetkin Prize winning Casa Kike at Gianni Botsford Architects.



Doria Reyes Cรณrdova Puebla, Mexico

Doria is currently an independent bamboo architect in Mexico. She graduated from Cuauhtemoc University in Puebla, Mexico. Her speciality is bamboo construction and she is certificated in subjects such as designing pluvial collection systems by The International Institute of Renewable Resources and Bioarchitecture at the Benemeritan University Autonomy of Puebla. Her professional work has been with communities teaching how to build with bamboo and generate alternative economies based in the potential of the bamboo. She is interested in the creation of balanced communities based in permaculture systems and an alternative economy. She is also interested in the fusion of environment, society and economy to generate knowledge, jobs and development. She has worked with universities giving training in bamboo construction such as BUAP University and the Institute of Visual Art, Puebla. She is co-founder of the Cooperative Bamboo Green Gold from Mexico.



Sebastian Kaminski ARUP, London

Sebastian is a Chartered Senior Structural Engineer working for Arup in London, and a Director of Engage for Development, a charity that supports projects in the developing world. He has extensive experience in the design of buildings, with particular interest in seismic design. He currently focuses on developing appropriate and sustainable low-cost housing in the developing world, in particular using traditional technologies and materials. Sebastian also advises on the structural use of bamboo within Arup, recently co-authoring internal guidance notes for Arup, which covered preservative treatment, member design and connection detailing. He has been involved in designs and reviews of projects using bamboo in Latin America and South-East Asia, and has published several peer-reviewed papers on the topic. As part of his long term aim to help improve the standards of engineering in developing countries, he has spent time in Latin America working with local NGOs in the development sector.



Jane Wynne

Wynne Farm and Foundation, Kenscoff, Haiti

Jane Wynne has worked tirelessly her whole life to preserve the ecology of Haiti, and is really the most prominent advocate for the conservation and restoration of Haiti’s forests. The Wynne Farm was founded in 1956 by her father Victor Wynne, a civil engineer. He noticed the ongoing misuse of the land and the inevitable threats of erosion and deforestation in the country and purchased various plots of land from local landowners and created the Wynne Farm which he terraced with a crew of 40 men. There, he propagated indigenous species to conserve Haiti’s rich biodiversity and introduced various fruits, vegetables and trees from numerous parts of the world, including bamboos. Victor Wynne emphasized the need for soil conservation, composting, reforestation, and experimented with agricultural techniques such as terracing. Today, due to its terraces and forest, Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve is a model for agroforestry. The ground water naturally stored under the earth feeds the springs of the village of Kenscoff to the south of Port au Prince, providing water to the community.



Franck Vendryes

Head and senior designer, Kalabam and BambuTek Port au Prince, Haiti Franck Vendryes is a local bamboo expert in craft, furniture and is currently building a large bamboo structure at Martissant Park in Port au Prince. He is the Director and Founder of the Bamboo Construction firm BambuTek, and he has been working with bamboo for many years. He has been with the AA Haiti Visiting School since the first year, most recently working with the students at the bamboo plantation in Marmelade in 2016.



Nancy Leconte Architectural Designer, Port au Prince

Nancy graduated in Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in 2009 and gained an AS in Business Administration at Tompkins Cortland Community College around the same time. She later obtain a Master of Science in International Business and Management for Design from the University of Salford. Nancy’s professional experience embraces architecture, business and community outreach. She has worked in Paris, France in Marketing; In Haiti she worked as an Architect at DICALCONSA, an engineering firm, collaborating with USAID on urban improvement project in the Greater North area of Haiti. She later joined a construction supervision and consultancy firm as a Project Manager where she collaborated on various projects in Haiti and the Dominican republic. She has also managed a community outreach program at Build Change, implementing a home owner driven retrofit program in Portau Prince, an experienced that has allowed her to deeper explore her interests in housing and development.



Nathalie Jolivert

Architectural Designer, Port au Prince

Nathalie graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. During her years at RISD she won the Gensler National Diversity Award in 2011 which featured her eco-touristic project for the indigenous Wayuu tribe of La Guajira in Colombia. Professionally, Nathalie worked on various projects with Architecture For Humanity and Studio Drum Collaborative in Haiti. As a painter, she also won a travel art residency to Bangladesh and Malawi with the USAID towards an exhibition at the Frontiers in Development Forum in Washington, DC (2014). Nathalie currently lives and works in New York, USA.



Karl Regis

Architectural Designer, Port au Prince

Karl Régis is an architect whom graduated at University of Quisqueya (uniQ), in Port au Prince. Over the past seven years, he has worked in different positions in the construction and architecture field. After the 2010’s earthquake, he has been a Construction Supervisor and also worked for ISPAN, (the Haitian Institute for the Protection of National Heritage), as a Field Engineer as part of the National Palace Reconstruction Project. He is also very interested in alternative and sustainable construction, which drove him to attend the AA Visiting School in 2014 and subsequently became an assistant tutor on the 2015 course. Currently he works as an architect and construction supervisor and is planning on partaking in a Masters Program in Construction Project Management to further help in Haiti’s Reconstruction.



Farah Hyppolite

Project coordinator of the Gingerbread House Preservation Project, FOKAL

Ms Hyppolite from FOKAL (Fondasyon Konesans ak Libete, Knowledge and Freedom Foundation) has lectured stuents in both 2015 and 2016, on the vernacular occupational styles and material history of buildings in downtown Port au Prince. This movement was later known as the Gingerbread movement and provides us even today with a blueprint regarding a vernacular occupational typology as well as design considerations for building in the Caribbean climate.



Rose May Guignard Senior Urban Planner, CIAT

Ms Guignard from CIAT (Comité Interministériel d’Aménagement du Territoire, Inter-ministerial Committee for Territorial Development) lectured students on the history and the challenges of trying to rebuild and redevelop the downtown of Port au Prince on the 2015 course. Issues of land ownership, differing interests, lack of security, the theft of building materials from the ruins following the earthquake, were all issues which were raised and posed challenges for the students.



Barlande Narcisse (Ti Coq) Senior Wood and Bamboo Carpenter Kenscoff, Haiti

Narcisse has been working with wood for over 25 years in Haiti and one of the senior bamboo carpenters whom have been trained through the AA Haiti Visiting School. His intrerests in the field of carpentry are wide ranging working on multiple scales from furniture to the buiding scale. He continues to work with the AA Haiti Visiting School transfering the skills he has learnt through the AA workshop to others wishing to learn about bamboo consutrction.



La Guerre Fedeme

Senior mason, carpenter and metal worker Kenscoff, Haiti

La Guerre has been working in construction for over 10 years in various locations around Haiti, most recently on Port au Prince’s airport redevelopment in 2014. His numerous construction skills inlcude working with stone, concrete, metal and wood, and he has been trained to work with bamboo through the AA Haiti Visiting School. He continues to work on various projects at the Wynne Farm and the commune of Kenscoff and promotes bamboo construction with the AA Haiti Visiting School.



John Osmond Naylor 21 June 2013

Bamboo Lakou

Lakou Banbou

Our work in Haiti began in 2012 with a year long project developed from the final year thesis at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Accepting that the death toll in the Haitian earthquake was a result of bad buildings, this project aimed to look at how light weight materials could start to proliferate the construction industry in Haiti and if grown domestically could improve the Haitian ecology.

Travay nou Ayiti te kòmanse an 2012 ak yon pwojè ki te dire yon lane ki te fèt nan kad yon travay tèz nan dènye ane lekòl Architectural Association School of Architecture nan vil Lond. Pwojè sa pati sou baz kantite mò ki te genyen nan tranbleman tè Ayiti te resilta konstriksyon ki pat bon, ki fè lap chèche wè koman materyo ki leje ka komanse sèvi pi plis nan sektè konstriksyon an an Ayiti epi si li pouse nan peyi a menm, koman li ka vin rann ekoloji peyi a miyò.

We worked between: Haiti where we looked at the culture of Haiti from the ground and the current building infrastructure of construction; London where the studio was based and the majority of the work was developed; and Spain where we looked at the current technology available in bamboo construction. The project was ultimately a reforestation plan which both proposed an area of Port au prince to reforest, and a construction infrastructure to allow the material to be used in lightweight construction. This would take over 5 years for the skills, infrastructures and material to mature. Set in the context of Haiti, a country with massive deforestation and threatened by earthquakes, only heavy concrete and cement are the building materials of choice. As an integral part of a wider reforestation strategy, this project merges a sustainable bamboo infrastructure along with the vernacular ‘Lakou’ communal courtyard typology.

Picture opposite: The interior of the Lakou, courtyard space.

This aims to encourage the physical use of bamboo in the Haitian construction sector. The material properties of bamboo provide design opportunities to provide resilience to hurricanes and earthquakes, and affords an assembly logic which intends to communicate a parallel understanding of bamboo’s application beyond the building site. This re-materialisation of a construction industry and subsequent demand, aims to engender bamboo growth in Haiti, a material with wider ecological benefits.

Nou travay ant: Ayiti kote nou al cheche konnen kilti Ayiti ak kòman sistèm konstriksyon batiman an ye konnye a; Lond kote stidyo a te gen baz li epi kote pi fò travay la te devlope; epi Espay kote nou te gade ki teknoloji ki egziste konye a nan konstriksyon banbou. Pwojè a te finalman vin tounen yon plan rebwazman ki genyen ladan li yon zòn Pòtoprens pou rebwaze, ak yon strikti pou bati kap pèmèt materyo a sèvi nan yon konstriksyon lejè. Sa tap pran plis pase 5 lane pou konpetans yo, infrastrikti yo ak materyo vin pare. Nan sitiasyon peyi d’Ayiti, yon peyi ki soufri anpil debwazman epi ki menase ak tranbleman tè, se beton lou ak siman ki plis a la mòd nan materyo konstriskyon. Pwojè sa a ki se yon pati nan yon pi gwo estrateji rebwazman ap mete yon strikti banbou andan yon Lakou yo konn jwenn nan kay tipik Ayiti yo. Sa ap ankouraje sèvi ak banbou nan sektè konstriksyon ayisyen an. Pwopriete fisik banbou a pèmèt fè kalite dizayn ki ka pare siklòn ak tranbleman tè, epi pèmèt yon asanblaj kap ede transmèt an menm tan yon konprann sou koman banbou a ka sèvi nan lòt bagay ki pa konstriksyon. Lòt materyo sa a nan sektè konstrisyon an epi demand sa ap kreye, ap pèmèt banbou a, yon materyo ki gen anpil benefis ekolojik, pran pi byen an Ayiti. Vini ak yon lòt metòd travay toujou difisil nan nenpòt ki domèn. Nan yon kilti ki tèlman fyè 67

1 Hectare Urban Sample

As part of the unit brief, emphasis was put on representing a 100m x 100m section of the proposed urban scale. This would highlight what makes up the project culturally, economically and environmentally, and the relationship between social spaces.



All the considerations of the project on the urban scale.

Introducing any new practice of working is difficult in any field. In a proud culture such as Haiti preaching a new form of building to the construction sector is riddled with problems. Low skills, lack of equipment and illiteracy, not to mention theft from a project, whether political corruption or material theft on site, all cause an environment not in a position to implement quality output which is all the more dangerous in Haiti, a site of huge seismic and natural threat. Materials in this location are defined by skill and natural resources. A lack of timber due to deforestation has resulted in concrete becoming the 21st Century vernacular and as a result any skills associated with construction have been aligned to work with concrete.

tankou Ayiti, eseye vini ak yon lòt jan pou bati plen pwoblèm. Konpetans ki manke, ekipman ki pa genyen ak analfabetizasyon, san konte vòlè nan pwojè yo, kit li koripsyon politik oswa materyo yap pran sou chantye a, tout sa lakòz yon anvironman ki pa pèmèt yon rezilta ki gen bon jan kalite, sa ki vin gen plis danje toujou nan peyi d’Ayiti, kote ki genyen gwo tranbleman tè ak desas natirel. Materyo nan peyi a vin bay ki konpetans ak ki resous natirel wap jwenn. Mwens bwa akòz debwazman vin fè beton tounen stil 21e sièk la ki fè tout konpetans nan konstriksyon se pou travay beton.

Initially the ‘Lakou’ courtyard house (as seen in the opposite page) forms the fundamental urban block and this itself is broken into four stages.

(1) Strateji okipasyon; kap eseye fè yon jan pou jwenn solisyon pou bay popilasyon an okipasyon yon fason ki respekte fason yo viv nan mòd Lakou Ayiti yo.

(1) Occupational Strategy; which aims to determine a means of developing solutions of occupation for the local population grounded in the existing Haitian ‘Lakou’ typology of courtyard living.

(2) Strateji pou matery; gade sa ki gen konnye a Ayiti epi gade koman sa ki la ka mete ansanm ak banbou a. Tip ak pwopriete materyo yo ak pèmèt bay lòt strateji pi devan.

(2) Material Strategy; looks at what is available in Haiti right now and speculates on how what is available can be compounded in the short term with bamboo. The typology and properties of materials will then determine any subsequent strategies. (3) Structural Strategy; looks at how bamboo can be implemented into a structural system which allows for the Haitian vernacular ‘Lakou’ design to be implemented. The structural strategy also looks at the limits of design versus materials in seismic areas and tests compounds of materials as well as seismic building techniques to develop a low cost, easily build-able structural system with proven seismic credentials. (4) Construction and Assembly Strategy; will produce an assembly logic explicit enough to work initially in a workforce mostly illiterate and yet can result in the successful implementation of aspects 1, 2, and 3. It is also designed that this logic has aspects of construction and material awareness which can propagate nationwide. This being either skill or outsourcing construction beyond the proposed new urbanism. This aims to create standards, knowledge, respect for the material and new economic opportunities.

Anvan, Kay Lakou a (jan ou ka wè’l nan lòt paj la) fòme pati prinsipal nan blok vil epi limenm vin divize an etap.

(3) Strateji pou strikti; gade koman banbou ka sèvi nan yon sistèm strikti ki ka pèmèt Lakou Ayisyen an konsève. Strateji a ap gade tou limit dizayn yo ak materyo yo nan zòn tranbleman tè epi teste yon gwoup materyo ansanm ak teknik konstriksyon sismik pou devlope sistèm strikti ki ka bati fasil, ki ba pri epi ki montre yo ka pran tranbleman tè. (4) Strateji konstriksyon ak asanblaj; sap ap pèmèt yon lojik nan asanblaj la ki fasil pou konpran pou travay ak zouvriye ki pou pifò pa kon li epoutan ki ka bay yon bèl enplemantasyon aspè 1, 2 ak 3 yo. Li fèt yon jan tou pou lojik sa pèmèt konesans sou konstriksyon ak materyo a gaye nan peyi a. Li ka swa nan konpetans oswa nan fè konstriksyon an pase limit ibanizasyon yap pwopoze a. Sa ap pèmèt kreye règleman, konesans, respè pou materyo a epi bay ekonomi an yon chans pou li mache. Strateji teknik sa a fòme yon gwo pati nan fè yon lòt tip bwa ak vil banbou a posib Ayiti. Nan ankouraje sèvi ak banbou nan sektè konstriksyon ayisyen an nan batiman, pwopriete fisik banbou a pèmèt fè kalite dizayn ki ka pare siklòn ak tranbleman tè, epi pèmèt yon asanblaj kap ede transmèt an menm tan yon konprann sou koman banbou a ka sèvi nan lòt bagay ki pa konstriksyon. 69

The elongated structure and facade providing workshop space.


The elongated structure and facade providing resilience to hurricane force winds.

This technical strategy forms an integral part of making a new timber and bamboo urbanism possible in Haiti. Through initially encouraging the physical use of bamboo in the Haitian construction sector at the building scale, the material properties of bamboo provide design opportunities to provide resilience to hurricanes and earthquakes, and affords an assembly logic which intends to communicate a parallel understanding of bamboo’s application beyond the building site.

Lòt materyo sa a nan sektè konstrisyon an epi demand sa ap kreye, ap pèmèt banbou a, yon materyo ki gen anpil benefis ekolojik, pran pi byen an Ayiti, epi poze baz fondasyon yon lòt dinamik ki diversifye nan Pòtoprens.

This re-materialisation of a construction industry and subsequent demand, aims to engender bamboo growth in Haiti, a material with wider ecological benefits and lay the foundations of a new biodiverse dynamic Port au Prince.

Nan ete 2013 la nou tounen Ayiti pou nou wè sa moun yo ki te sipòte pwojè a an Ayiti tap di epi wè koman nou te ka fè pwojè a tounen realite. Pi presizeman se apre nou fin vwayaje nan Nò peyi, yon zòn kap plante banbou depi 10 lane pase, nou aprann mwayen ki pi enpòtan pou ta realize pati 2-4 tèz la ta dwe mete l’nan yon pwogram edikasyon kote etidyan achitèkti Ayisyen ka vin gen konesans sou materyo banbou a ak prensip sou dizayn ak klima epi sismik anplis fòmasyon yap pran deja a.

This work won two prizes in 2013, the Foster and Partners Prize for Sustainable Infrastructure and the Holloway Award for Education in Construction. The publicity and prize money paved the way to develop this work further. In the Summer of 2013 we returned to Haiti to get feedback from those who had supported the project in Haiti and see about the feasibility of implementation. Specifically after travelling to the North of the country, an area which has started growing bamboo for the past decade, that the most important way of implementing parts 2-4 of the thesis would have to be through an education curriculum in which Haitian architecture students had their existing education augmented with bamboo material knowledge and the principals of climate and seismic design.

Travay sa genyen de pri an 2013, Pri Foster and Partners Prize for Sustainable Infrastructure epi pri Holloway Award for Education in Construction. Lajan piblisite ak pri sa yo pèmèt fè travay sa avanse pi plis.

Se dekalarasyon sa ki vin fòme baz lòt etap pwojè a ki te prepare kou a. Apre nou te fin pale ak plizyè inivèsite nan peyi a, se the Inivèsite Kiskeya nan Pòtoprens ki te vin ban nou sipò, epi AA kontinye apiye pwojè a ak finanse sa ki tap vin tounen lekòl Architectural Association Haiti Visiting School

It was this statement that formed the basis of the next stage of the project which was the design course. After approaching universities all over the country it was Quisqueya University in Port au Prince that supported us in Haiti, and the Architectural Association continued their commitment to the project and funded what became the Architectural Association Haiti Visiting School.


A diagram showing all the structural, and infrastrucutral opportunities of a bamboo construction economy.


Section of the Urban block, or ‘Lakou’.



The larger street scale of the bamboo managed forests.

75 The urban scale, showing how a managed forest can grow close to Port au Prince.


The different districts and population dispersal in an ‘urban’ bamboo managed forest.



John Osmond Naylor 20 November 2013

Experimental Bamboo

“Can I take some photos of your building site?” I say in mediocre French, “I’m from the Architectural Association in London.” With enormous pride, the site foreman points to two concrete columns which have just been poured. The rusting steel rebar sticks half a metre skywards penetrating into the blue cloudless sky, exposed to all the extreme elements of the Haitian climate. It is Christmas Day 2012 and I am standing in the baking Caribbean sun, surrounded by the sounds, smells and oppressive heat of Rue de Delmas, the busiest street in Port au Prince. “Can I go here?” I say as I edge towards an already completed part of the building. “Okay!” The problems of the Haitian construction industry are widely accepted. However, Haiti has a perfect storm scenario which makes her urban landscape extremely unforgiving. Haiti has suffered from immense deforestation over the latter half of the twentieth century, which has resulted in a lack of timber in the construction industry. The full extent of this, along with an unregulated construction sector, was seen in the earthquake of 2010 when, in a matter of minutes, half the building stock collapsed killing 316,000 people.

Picture opposite: Students on the Wynne Farm in Kenscoff, Haiti.

Back on Delmas, I feel the cave-like effect as I walk into a newly completed part of the building. The cool of the shade is met with the smell of the moisture given off by newly poured concrete. In fact, there is nothing but concrete. Concrete wall, concrete columns, concrete floor, and to my horror as I look up, breeze blocks. A horizontal wall sits levitating above my head. The plywood used to set the blocks is still visible as ripped pieces, embedded into the beams, waiting to act as skis the next time the roof attempts to shake itself free. The rebuilding effort following the earthquake is still ongoing but the city is being rebuilt in the same fashion as that which caused such a death toll in 2010. In addition to the lack of building

quality, the centralised aid effort following the earthquake has increased the capital’s population significantly and therefore, if the earthquake was to strike tomorrow, the death toll would probably be greater than in January 2010. The future for the Haitian construction sector has to be lightweight materials. Port au Prince’s vernacular ‘gingerbread architecture’ proved this, as ironically, the century old timber framed homes in the capital remained standing as the rest of the city came crashing down. The issue of deforestation has, in recent years, been tackled with investment in bamboo. The story of bamboo in Haiti started in the 1950s when Victor Wynne began a process of conserving land to the south of Port au Prince. At this time, the economic realities of the Duvalier regime, and the subsequent poverty which followed, saw a local population without income or source of fuel set about cutting down almost every tree in sight. In this situation, Victor Wynne saw the fast growing, flexible yet strong bamboo as the future ‘saviour of Haiti’. This land became known as the Wynne Farm Estate, and today under the stewardship of his daughter Jane, stands as an oasis of greenery in the middle of Haiti’s barren landscape. The vision for the land was always to create a campus which could become a home for researchers and academics to come to Haiti and join the battle against the ecological catastrophe. It is this dream which forms the brief for the AA Visiting School. The AA Haiti Visiting School planned for January 2014 intends to merge both the material of bamboo with the international network and design methodology of the AA School. The format of the workshop will follow an initial mapping exercise which embeds students into the last remaining Haitian wilderness, to map the dynamic factors on the Wynne Estate. In groups of three, students will take this raw observed data as the input for a series of form finding exercises in 3D design software. The output will be taken by each group and 79


developed to meet both the demands of the campus program and, by introducing students to climatic analysis software, the realities of Haiti’s annual hurricane winds. The remaining third of the course will be used to focus on bamboo and how the material characteristics can be used to realise the groups’ formal output as well as provide seismic resilience for their proposal. For this students will be lectured by local bamboo architects and a visiting bamboo specialist. The long-term goal is to strengthen the ability for bamboo to be applied into an existing design process and not be used as the basis of the project – the notion of bamboo in the building, not a bamboo building. It is this process and subsequent graphic output which will help promote bamboo to those already building in Haiti. Over the course of the workshop all tutor lectures, cultural lectures and visiting professional lectures will be open to those from the local community. In the long-term, the work of the school will be available open source to those who wish to apply bamboo into their own projects. The AA Visiting School will contribute towards the growing prevalence of bamboo in the construction sector, the by-product of which, is the increased growth nationally and contribution to reforestation.

Picture opposite: Students on the 2014 course in the studio learning the climate analysis software Autodesk Ecotect.



John Osmond Naylor 3 December 2014

Bamboo and the City

In the mountains above Port au Prince, the flaring glow of the Caribbean sunset has finally turned into night. Tutors and students sit down on a wooden bench whilst out of the darkness a large bonfire crackles away. Looking around the perimeter the illuminated faces of the local community stare into the flames, their hands blurred by vigorous thumping on the drums. The lack of light pollution reveals a kaleidoscope of stars twinkling across the night sky, and all around is blackness. Being 1,000 metres above sea level the air is cold. The breeze rustles through the surrounding bamboo and pine trees with the sound of drums resonating around the valley. The beats make the valley echo to the same rhythms used 200 years ago to secretly communicate vast distances between groups of slaves fighting and earning their freedom. Every so often the rhythm is broken by a splintering sound followed by a bang. This sequential ‘bamboom!’ comes from the bamboo on the fire as the trapped air inside the internodes expands in the heat. (Some believe this is the source of the name ‘bam-boo’.) It has just turned midnight and all involved in the AA Haiti Visiting School are celebrating New Year’s Eve, the day before the course commences. Our hosts are the Wynne family who, through their estate in Kenscoff, have maintained an oasis in the midst of half a century of Haiti cutting down all but 2% of their forests.

Picture opposite: Tutors and students on the 2015 course in downtown Port au Prince.

In our mountain studio a regular work timetable established itself fast. Every morning began early with software tutorials, afternoons were briefly interrupted by the local cuisine of our resident chef, and the evenings were anchored with a lecture given by either tutors or guests. After an initial site mapping exercise in the mountains, students used this mapped dynamic data as the input for a series of form-finding exercises whilst being tutored on new parametric modelling software. This output as well as a new palette of modelling techniques were absorbed and released in the second part of the course. The later part of

the week also exposed students to aerodynamic analysis simulations to test against Haiti’s hurricane exposure; bamboo material studies; and these were punctuated with a cultural tour and a night out at the infamous Oloffson Hotel. Barbancourt hangovers notwithstanding, we all strived in the latter days to articulate the strong design decisions which were emerging in the class. The pace was fast and the dedication of all more than matched this speed. To be a student on the course, there are a few skills that are essential: treating a power outage as no big deal; enjoying riding in the back of a pick-up truck; and being ready to dance to Vodou Roots music. The most important skill, however, is the ability to consider two parallel scales in your design methodology. The brief is to design and test at the building scale, however, students are made aware that this concurrently forms one element of a wider vision. The final design and the process must both be able to instruct and inspire others in Haiti to see the potential of utilising bamboo. Our final jury on the 12 January 2014 took on an added significance, being almost 4 years to the hour that the earthquake happened. It started with speeches by the Haitian students followed by a moment’s silence. This reflection only encouraged our resolve as the rest of the afternoon became a manifesto of how we can make Haiti more resilient to both natural threats and move away from the seismically vulnerable current concrete vernacular. The same concrete urban fabric was responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 souls, and even today 150,000 people are still without a home. The AA Visiting School will be returning to Haiti in January 2015, this time to a studio in Quisqueya University. We will be engaging with a site in the downtown area to speculate on what role bamboo can play in the urban context. If bamboo is to be shown to have a future in the Haitian built environment, then it is the rebuilding of the city in which this is most vital. 83

Students conducting site research in the downtown of Port au Prince, on the 2015 course.


Notre Dame Cathedral still laying in ruins years on from the earthquake.

This greater challenge is matched by the increased support we have been generously granted from new sponsors. Having overseen bamboo projects in Latin America and South East Asia, Sebastian Kaminski from ARUP will be visiting us over 5 days to work with students. There will also be local architects, designers, ecologists and stakeholders visiting us to share their knowledge and provide students with the wider context of this most vibrant of Caribbean cities.


Students on the 2015 course in the studio.


Rose Di Sarno lecturing on the 2015 course.

Nathalie Jolivert and John Osmond Naylor 16 February 2015

Reflections on 2015

The Architectural Association Visiting School in Haiti underwent its second session in the heart of the capital city of Portau-Prince. Led by John Osmond Naylor, a graduate from the Architectural Association, this intensive 11-day workshop had the objective to explore the use of bamboo as a construction material in Haiti. Students from various international universities along with students from the local Université de Quisqueya were challenged to design projects with an extensive use of software. With those tools, they could push the limits of bamboo and propose projects that could change the perception of this material often described as “the poor man’s timber”. The AA Visiting School in Haiti also aims to promote and encourage the planting of bamboo, as a potential answer to deforestation issues in Haiti.

Nathalie Jolivert:

The first two days of the workshop, the students were introduced to their site. This year the syllabus had the goal to experiment with bamboo in an urban context. The site encompasses four blocks surrounding “Place Geffrard”, a public park in the historic district of Downtown Port-au-Prince. This area was greatly damaged during the earthquake of 2010, and even before the natural catastrophe, suffered from a lack of infrastructural maintenance and police presence. While ruins from the earthquake are still visible, informal merchants, businesses and bus stations have taken over the streets. Where buildings are still standing, makeshift wooden stalls occupy covered sidewalks, which are lined with historic arcades. On a calm Sunday morning, the students surveyed the blocks and looked for data that they could later represent in diagrams: sound, light, stalls, pedestrians, colourful “taptaps”, merchants… The tutorials were held on the roof terrace of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Territorial Development (CIAT) building in Pacot, a neighbourhood renowned for its concentration of historic Gingerbread Houses. The terrace

provides great views of Downtown Port-auPrince, a perfect backdrop for the subject of the workshop. In addition to the software tutorials, the students also benefited from evening lectures delivered by the tutors and guest speakers. Guest speakers this year included ARUP engineer Sebastian Kaminski who works on construction projects with bamboo in Ecuador, Rose-May Guignard urbanist at CIAT who spoke about the complexities of redeveloping Downtown Port-au-Prince, Farah Hyppolite who leads the preservation project of Gingerbread Houses at the cultural institution of FOKAL, and finally Architect Jean-Marc Tribié who shared his experience of being a young professional practising in the private sector of Port-au-Prince. The lectures were well attended by local professionals which allowed for rich exchanges to take place to help the students with their projects. Haiti, as a developing country which is going through deforestation issues, could benefit from a bamboo planting industry. In 2014, the AA Visiting School took place at the Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, in the mountains of Kenscoff. The Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve has a bamboo nursery and conducts workshops on environmental issues. The students’ proposals were a series of pavilions suggesting a range of ideas exploring the use of bamboo as a flexible material for woven structures, to the use of bamboo as a brick. This year, within the dense urban context of Downtown Port-au-Prince, which three century-old grid holds a rich history, the students had a lot of existing conditions to work with to further push the limits of bamboo as a modern building material. John Naylor: The students did a great job meeting their objectives and we were really pleased with the quality of their work. Our target enrolment for this course is to have a synthesis of overseas and Haitian students working side by side in an intensive studio environment. To provide free places for local Haitian students


The Iron Market, or Marche Fer, in downtown Port au Prince.


Students and visitors gathered to watch the lecture by Farah Hyppolite on Gingerbread houses, a Haitian building typology.

we ask companies like G&T for sponsorship. The ‘G&T Award for Determination’ was a welcome part of this support and we decided to give it to Civil Engineering student SchightDy Azilien.

this agenda, the tutors of the AA Haiti Visiting School award the Gardiner & Theobald Award for Dedication 2015 to Schnight-Dy Azilien.

We split the students up into groups to work on their projects and Schnight-Dy was one of three members of Group Three which was given an urban block to the south of the iconic Iron Market to work on, rebuilt after the earthquake. Group Three’s project showed a daring ambition to confront head on the climatic, programmatic, cultural and political context of the site. Students mapped on site the different products being sold by the informal merchants and proposed formalising these activities into programmes which would form the basis of the project. The observation that the south east corner of the site sold exclusively education related materials formed an anchor programme of education facilities and reading areas at ground level, which would be incorporated into the project. Formally the project proposed a series of pathways which would cross at different heights throughout the site in which people could cross paths and activities would occur. These pedestrianised walkways would emerge from inside the north wing of the Iron Market, (the specific location of the artisans stalls) and bridge over the road to the given site bringing these artisan skills with them and augment the education programme initially proposed by students. Both structural input and aerodynamic testing were fully exploited in the design of the bridge connections. An ingenious system of convergence and divergence of singular bamboo poles within the structure of the walkways was proposed as ways of making the terrain respond to the proposed activities. At the upper levels canopies were created based on a similar helix structural system to that of the bridges. These would frame views of key landmarks of the city. The attention to both the local programmes and also the views across Port-au-Prince showed a consideration of how the project interfaces with the street and also the wider city. These two scales of intervention were comprehended and presented maturely at the final jury. For the breadth of the task set by her group, her enthusiasm, hard work and energy in pushing 89


Aditya Aachi

13 February 2015

Dictators, great lectures and bamboo houses

Sitting having breakfast in our residence for the week on Rue Pacot, preparing for the final jury of the AA Haiti Visiting School 2015, we heard that the government had been dissolved and that President Michel Martelly was now ruling by decree. Later, I stood looking out over Port-au-Prince on the terrace of the Comité Interministériel d’Aménagement du Territoire (CIAT), with a couple of Visiting School alumni from last year. In the distance you could see one plume black smoke from the burning tyres - not far from the part of downtown where the students had been mapping sites a week earlier. As I discussed the situation with them and asked if Martelly had become what he promised to dispel from the administration, they exclaimed in tandem as if it was habit, “Welcome, this is Haiti!”

Picture opposite: The view looking over Port au Prince, from the studio of the 2015 course.

If you were to see the photo on the BBC news website that morning - an image of violent riots and tyres burning in the streets - you would not imagine that we were still planning to hold the jury. You might think that we were going to pack our bags and head straight to the airport. It is important not to trivialise the situation, but it would be an understatement to say that the media have a knack for hyper-exaggeration. The student projects this year were based in the urban context of Port-au-Prince’s downtown - a few blocks around John McAslan’s Iron Market. Although the destroyed iron market was rebuilt and opened on the first anniversary of the quake, in stark contrast the rest of downtown remains largely unchanged. The area is still mostly used as an open air market where thousands of Haitians earn their living. One of the sites was in fact the spot I had chosen to represent my own project in 2011, it was very unfortunate to see that students had made the same observations which led to a somewhat similar proposal 4 years on. The students were able to spend some time mapping their sites, making observations

and collecting data that would inform their proposals. The data was analysed for correlations and used to make the first moves on the site. There was a struggle to make proposals due to the enormity and complexity of the situation while also having to grapple with a somewhat abstract method. Slowly, the connections were made and the realisation that they weren’t going to solve every problem in the 11 days available gave them some freedom. The proposals were then tested and refined using open source environmental software. The 4 groups consisted of a mix of foreign students and local civil engineering students who were introduced through NGO Help. The projects were a very direct response to the 4 distinct sites and existing conditions: a car wash – where the cleanest water is used to wash cars and then dirty water is used by those who need it most – became a public baths. The area used by text book vendors became a public teaching space and an extension to the directly adjacent iron market. A largely empty site with formal stalls surrounding it, currently used as a shortcut and temporary dumping area was reimagined as a recycling and sorting centre. An informal bus station - the main crossroads in PaP was formalised and combined with other local art markets. This year the school was held the government offices of CIAT. Our host Rose-May Guignard kindly gave us her time and expertise throughout the course - one of the highlights being her candid lecture. The quality and range of lectures was without doubt one of the strongest aspects of the programme. Farah Hyppolite of FOKAL (Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty) explained the history of the local colonial gingerbread style, Rose-May spoke about urban planning and the roles of legislation in Port-au-Prince. Our key note speaker and newest member of tutoring team Sebastian Kaminski of Arup gave lectures on bamboo and seismic design. These were supplemented by his extensive day 91

A bamboo design worksop help by Sebastian Kaminski of ARUP, in which tutors and student all formed groups together.


Tutors and students in the studio on the 2015 course.

long workshop on production, treatment and construction using bamboo. His input into making the projects structurally viable and responding to the environmental testing was also invaluable.

a way to enrich the programme and its rhetoric rather than becoming an obstacle.

Our annual visit to the Oloffson hotel to watch celebrated Haitian band RAM and let the students unwind from the rigorous programme was preceded by a visit to Haiti’s first bamboo house designed by architect Gary PierreCharles. Built using Colombian guadua by Gary and a few of his colleagues – the beautifully detailed yet resilient design is a strong argument for the wider use of bamboo in Haiti. The Visiting School in its current format is about creating excitement around the potential for the use of bamboo. More importantly it aims to introduce methods of contextually driven testing into local working methods. The results, though quite fantastical, raised some real questions of what is needed in downtown PaP. These needs are somewhat at odds with what is currently proposed by any of the stakeholders involved. The conceptual projects were presented to the association of downtown landowners and will hopefully open up a discourse about what could be possible in the area in the future. Though the school has a scope to produce excitement for the material and promote collaboration, the fact that it is a short workshop mean’s it is unlikely to produce real change on the ground. It also became frustratingly clear this year that the format of the course, though greatly improved, may not be the best way to disseminate knowledge effectively in Haiti. For these reasons our ambition is to push our research further outside the workshops in order to determine the viability of developing a new local lightweight typology. So in this vein, how are we planning to improve and progress future visiting schools? The next workshop aims encompass a programme in designing and building located within a bamboo plantation. The building aspect of the course will finally give us the level of direct exposure to the material we have been looking for. Detaching the workshop from the influence of the complex situation on the ground may also be a key aspect of the programme. This comes as a reaction to students being stifled by the seemingly insurmountable problems and informal systems that govern Port-au-Prince. By designing building an intervention in a plantation these issues will hopefully become 93

Students site mapping on the 2016 course in the area of Bailergeau.


Building instructions painted on the walls of Baillergeau, to promote good building practice.

Aditya Aachi

12 September 2016

Bamboo and Bidonvilles

I’m just about settling back into the pace of London having returned from the third Architectural Association (AA) Haiti Visiting School, which explores the potential for the use of bamboo to develop a new, more appropriate and sustainable light-weight building typology in Haiti. Visit the AA Haiti Visiting School website or read my previous blogs on the subject if you are interested in finding out why we think bamboo could be a viable answer. The Brief This year the brief was set by government department L’Unite de Construction de Logements et de Batiments Publics (UCLBP), who are already working in informally settled areas to provide core housing and promote good building practice across Port-au-Prince (PaP). One such area was our site in PaP this year – Baillergeau. The core houses currently being built use a method of seismic resistant construction called confined masonry. This involves casting a reinforced concrete (RC) frame with block infill which is securely tied in, with any openings also surrounded by RC. This method is a safer version of what is the dominant typology around settlements all across Haiti. Though confined masonry works well to save lives in earthquakes, it is more complicated to build correctly than the standard, unregulated concrete construction which killed so many in the earthquake of 2010. The challenge then is to provide an alternative model for a light-weight core house which can be offered to people living in informal settlements (bidonvilles) in place of the concrete status quo. The bidonville residents, who can prove they have a stable rental agreement or have land rights, will be provided with a basic 25sqm core house which can be extended incrementally as the family obtain the means to do so. The idea of incrementally extendable self-build projects are not new by any means - terms such as progressive

development (Turner 1976), instalment construction, or building ‘serially’ (Abrams 1964) have been used in the past - but it has become a more widely recognisable model since Alejandro Aravena recently employed it for his housing projects in Chile. The idea is that the houses are easy for the owners to construct and involve repetitive connection details and components. The owners are required to be involved in the construction to a point such that they can extend safely without the need to hire contractors. The project also needs to be easily replicable by others in the community. The proposal has to be earthquake resilient to 1g (single direction pga) and resistant to hurricane winds of 80 m/s - most of which could be tested to a basic level at the school using sponsored testing software such as Karamba. The structural elements are to be designed using a native species of bamboo and the design needs to respond to local cultural and social practices as well as being aesthetically pleasing enough to change people’s perception of the material. The Process The course was split into two parts - an initial design and consultation phase which was based in the always manic PaP, followed by a trip to a bamboo plantation in the north of Haiti, based in the more rural Marmelade. The course structure was simple. Introductory lectures defining the brief gave an overall context of development theory and what we feel the architect’s role is in this context, helping to prepare students for the consultation and issues surrounding it. This was supplementary to a model-making and digital design workshop to produce the outline design and enough supporting material to have a meaningful consultation with community and local construction representatives. Two visits were used to introduce students to 95


the benefits of local vernacular and show them the reality of what people faced on site. The first of the visits was to Maison Dufort - a local gingerbread house which had recently been fully restored by cultural foundation Fokal. Farah Hyppolite led a tour and gave a lecture regarding the benefits of an environmentally and culturally appropriate architecture, which were all too clear as we sat comfortably for a couple of hours in a naturally ventilated space while the sun relentlessly baked everything outside. The knowledge of this building typology was present throughout the course as some of the local carpenters, who worked on this and other projects, joined the mixed student teams for the duration of the course. The site visit which followed was striking and had a large impact on the students’ approach. As we were led around Baillergeau by community leaders it became clear just how small 25 sqm really is - especially if split between multiple families with the potential to be used as a commercial space as well as a family home. The community consultation followed after the designs had progressed significantly in quite a short period of time. These consisted of teams presenting their work to a local home owner and core house contractor. They gave valuable feedback which helped students to deal functional issues they had not previously considered, but also gave rise to strong positive and negative reactions to the proposed forms. A lengthy Q&A session then took place where the group as a whole fielded queries regarding bamboo construction and its appropriateness. It was great to see even the sceptical community representatives leaving with at least a very open mind, if not the aspiration to set up a plantation of their own.

Picture opposite: The narrow walkways of the Bidonville area of Baillergeau.

After rain and a bus crash on the only highway halted our plans for 24 hours, we headed to Marmelade armed with lots of comments to drive the design forward, and with great excitement at the thought of getting our hands on the bamboo to start prototyping. The trip north was quite eye-opening. We stopped at the bamboo CASEC office in Cabaret to see how bamboo was already being used and passed the huge open air market at Pont Sonde on the Artibonite River - potentially a great opportunity to build shading market stalls and improve the livelihood of the traders. The only wood being sold there currently comes in the form of charcoal. On arrival at Marmelade it was clear that this

would be a fantastic few days in nature. We were surrounded by bamboo - in furniture, in building construction and growing all around us. There were peacocks, turkeys, chickens and ducks wondering around, not to mention insects the size of small children. The surroundings afforded most of us a welcome break from the city, but also gave us the challenge of coping with scarcity that many Haitians do on a daily basis. Prototyping of the critical joints was carried out under our resident bamboo experts - Doria and Frank - who were pushed to the limits of their knowledge by the groups. During the day we took walks in the forest to learn about the bamboo; how best to cut, hang preserve and treat the material. In the evenings we had more lectures - such as Rose’s presentation of the “urban acupuncture” proposal which was a result of consultation carried out in the north of the country by Gensler while working with the Inter-American Development Bank. There was also a 3am bamboo cutting session to take advantage of the ease of cutting bamboo while the water is at the base of the plant. This led to the harsh realisation that I’m not as much of a morning person as I thought, but it was magical nonetheless. Along with all the good work happening at the plantation it was frustrating to see the level of inactivity at what is one of the largest and best equipped bamboo workshops in the Caribbean. Though the odd furniture order appears and designs continue to be developed, it seems that higher pay across the border of the Dominican Republic is a constant leach on skilled workers. People simply don’t feel they are paid well enough to keep working at the plantation, which was built by the Taiwanese. Clearly there needs to be more of a demand for the product, which will only come if people see what can be achieved through construction and are convinced that bamboo can work for them. With this in mind we left with a strong knowledge of the material and how best to work with it, with 1:5 and 1:10 construction models, and with a new found determination to create the demand which is so sorely required to derive a bamboo economy. We headed back south where the workshop culminated with a day-long presentation to the head of UCLBP at PaP’s best known gingerbread hotel, The Oloffson. With the very high standard achieved by the students during the 13 day school it was no wonder that the critics thought all the projects were considered and sensitive enough to act as truly viable 97

Design tutorials in the studio.


All tutors enjoying bamboo beer from Cerveza Bambusa, Mexico on the Summer 2016 course.

alternatives to the existing core houses. What Next? The reality is of course not as clear cut as the brief. With many people not being able to prove tenure status due to a lack of centralised land rights records, not everyone can afford a home. Bamboo and timber are seen as a poor man’s materials, useful for burning only - a perception that will hopefully change through exposure to well-designed buildings which demonstrate clear benefits. The complexity of funding raises another issue – people don’t tend to trust formal loans which are afforded to them by being able to prove tenure, opting rather to use more traditional informal money lending systems which operate on pooled resources. Of course as people start to officially own property there are always new associated costs - the de-risking of service provision means that statutory undertakers can now demand payment for electricity or water where it would not have been possible to do so before. This is something people are not used to and they may not necessarily understand what they are signing up to unless it is clearly explained at the outset. All this, along with the impending election in October, means there is a great deal of uncertainty around the project in its current form. It remains to be seen if the momentum that has been built in three short years can create more results as tangible as the ones displayed at the school this year. Despite these potential issues, it is clear to me that the school was a massive success this year, and I remain optimistic. This was due largely to the student’s level of engagement, more defined live brief and the inclusion of local community - all of which contributed to some fantastic designs, which UCLBP were very pleased with. This is also, in no small part, due to the sheer determination of school director, John Naylor. Looking ahead, the next step will be to build part of one of the designs as a prototype for the real thing, so that it can be tested and refined. We are aiming to commence in October this year as part of AA Haiti winter Visiting School. Watch this space for updates.


Site mapping in the downtown of Port au Prince.


Presenting at the final jury.

Victoria Oshinusi 16 February 2015

Port au Prince

After a lot of over procrastination and fulfilling the unimportant, I decided it was finally time to write about my trip to Haiti. I think the reason that I have been finding it so difficult to articulate is because up until now, I haven’t really sat down to reflect on the whole experience. I know for a fact it was the best thing I’ve done so far this year, but how I came to that conclusion, I’m not entirely sure. I should probably start by saying what this whole trip was about. Far from being simply a vacation or act of selfless humanitarian aid, I initially enrolled on a trip to Haiti with the AA Visiting School as a means of broadening my architectural experiences. When deciding on a Visiting School to attend, I filtered them down through location. I knew I wanted to go to Japan, Korea, the Middle East or Mediterranean. At last I had found an excuse to go to Istanbul or Egypt which were previously deemed too unsafe to travel to alone. However this method was unsuccessful. I had either missed the deadlines or simply had no interest in the program. Thus, I sifted my way through every single trip available, reading each description out loud to my mother before unanimously deciding ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe so’. Although going to Haiti had never been on my bucket list or any type of agenda, the program was strikingly attractive. I have always have an innate interest in using organic materials as a tool for construction, predominantly in their rawest state. Within a couple of lines of text and an explicitly stated ‘no portfolio required’, I was sold. Let me rewind. The AA (Architectural Association School of Architecture) run short programs all over the world. This one was based on using bamboo technologies as a sustainable approach for construction in Haiti. The 2010, magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti, 12km+/- from the capital and left a devastating impact. This was fundamentally due to the poor quality concrete and lack of enforced building regulations rather than the magnitude of the

earthquake itself. We were there to research and produce alternative solutions to a city and country built predominantly on confined masonry; a very unsafe means of construction when done poorly. I wouldn’t go into too much depth but here is John Naylor’s AA Diploma thesis ‘Bamboo Lakou‘ which spring boarded this whole program. Long before getting to Haiti, I went through different stages of initial fear, doubt, shock as to what I had actually gotten myself into and if I would make it out alive. Then I read books, watched documentaries and educated myself on the reasons behind the taboo of this largely negatively perceived country. I weighed up information I had been fed through the media and the people around me, whose opinions seemed to have been derived from a very ‘Chinese whispers’ flow of information. I combined this with what I had researched and came to the conclusion that Haiti is poor, desperately poor. (A revelation. I know!) Yet I would rather believe that their circumstances aren’t God’s punishment onto a ritualistic, voodoo-practicing nation but the consequence of a long line of human action and inaction. Corruption, exploitation and good willed but poorly executed development and aid strategies. I realised the strong similarities it has with Nigeria and most other African countries in that sense. Outside perceptions and the news are always only going to cover the worst of a place because ‘no news is good news’ and vice versa right? You start to realise that just like anything else, you form opinions based on naive information. Voodoo becomes witchcraft and the impoverished become criminals. Not to say that this isn’t true of Haiti, but it is a single story and not the complete picture. I’m not entirely sure why I elaborate on this point so much. I guess it is because in my possibly very naive and touristic eyes, Haiti or Port-au-Prince at least is also incredibly beautiful and the people I met are passionate, smart and resilient. They are wanting to 101

Working in the studio on the 2015 course.


Site mapping in the downtown of Port au Prince.

improve their country as much and as quickly as we are wanting to write it of. You don’t hear about that everyday now do you? Day 1 I arrived in Haiti on January 2nd after a surprisingly smooth 2hr(ish) flight. I followed John’s more than straight forward airport directions and followed the white people. I searched apprehensively for the taxi driver that would take me to the B&B but kept my bags close as the crowd of men, (some with signs, most without) looked just a little suspicious. I found him within minutes and even got a Digicel Sim card and converted some money. With time to spare, I picked up a tourist magazine and flicked through it nonchalantly as if I had already ticked all the boxes. As if i had been there, done that and was in fact on my way to get the T-shirt. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so illusively native. After a short while, I was greeted by one of my tutors and we were on our way. We drove up steep, misaligned roads with potholes and rubble in and around them. As we distanced from the airport and headed out of Downtown, the roads got better and houses, larger and more distinguished. We stayed at the large home/B&B owned by architects. Admittedly, expecting a lot less than the large, well ventilated 6 bedroom (6 beds in the room), en suite and terrace, I breathed a sigh of relief. Within no time at all I had relaxed into my new home-away-from-home which actually gave me a huge sense of nostalgia as it reminded me a lot of my grandmother’s house. I became well acquainted with two Singaporean girls already there and spent the rest of my day napping. The 10 days that followed moved more quickly and turbulently than the first, so with that same pace I shall swiftly explain. Days 2-3 The work load didn’t really begin until day 3. On Day two, the rest of the team were still coming in dribs and drabs. Most of our time was spent in studio. By studio, I really mean on the terrace of a 5 floor building with spectacular views across Port-au-prince. We were put into our groups of 3 before being given our sites in the heart of Downtown, where we would go the following day. We had devised varying means of data collection that would inform our program. We were told Downtown was very unsafe. The Haitian students hadn’t been there in 4 years and a group of blatant, suspicious

looking outsiders with their DSLRs would attract much unwanted attention. So, we were given approximately 30 minutes to conduct the survey. We dressed modestly, left all our valuables in the minibus and walked towards our site. It was a little tense at first I have to say. Like walking through a rough neighbourhood. A group of young men sat on their motorbikes at a street corner, howling for our attention whilst others just stared. One has to be vigilant but not paranoid. We began to relax. Natalie (far left) an artist and our native Haitian translator amongst other things, diffused any scepticism. Before we knew it, female merchants were laughing and posing for photos, loudspeakers blasted music from wheelbarrows and we were buying souvenirs from the Iron Market. Days 4-5 That evening and In the days that preceded, We had lectures on Rhino and Adobe software. We were taught the ins and outs of Bamboo construction by an Arup engineer and heard talks by both the tutors and visiting urban planners and architects. These ranged from larger scale infrastructure problems in Haiti to traditional Gingerbread houses in Port-auPrince and the contemporary homes outside the capital, for the elite few. We worked hard and struggled through language barriers to produce diagrams that would explicitly articulate the information we found which would then start to shape our forms. Day 6 Day 6 was my favourite and by far the most bumpy day. We had an interim crit to monitor our progress and see where we would go from all the information we had optioned and recorded. I however was in bed till the late afternoon feeling as though those could quite possibly be the last hours of my life. However, a couple of hours of sleep and some trusty paracetamol, led to a miraculously swift recovery. Our treat, (although undeservedly for me) was to visit Haiti’s first bamboo structure and the metal arts Village of Croix-des-Bouquets. The only one of its kind in Haiti. At last we were tourists and explorers all at once. It was night by the time we got back. We picked up some Prestige (aka what seemed to become my water substitute in the later days) and put on our dancing shoes before making our way to The Oloffson Hotel for dinner. This was by far my favourite memory. As soon as the music game on, we were up and in front of 103

Visiting the bamboo house in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti.


Design for bamboo market stall and recycling station.

centre stage. We drank the local rum *punch* (Emphasis on punch), and danced the night away to RAM and their front-line dancers. The place was packed and overheating from the outset. Believe me when I tell you I lost weight on that dance floor. The music was long and reckless. One song was equivalent to three and long pauses in between both gave us the relief of being able to catch our breath and the disappointment that maybe it was over. But before that thought could manifest, the beat dropped again and we were off. I fought through the pain of my quads seizing up with lactic acid and let the music have its way. We were by far the most enthusiastic group there. Apparently it happens just the same every Thursday which I suppose would make one lose excitement. For me though, well I could have lived in that moment forever. (or at least till the roosters cock-adoodle-doo’d and the sun came up). Fast paced music is like running on a treadmill, you have no choice but to run/dance to the pace that is set. So here I was, sprinting for a marathon. This group of photos were taken by the incredibly talented documentary photographer, Bahare Khodabande. She is currently living out in Port-au-prince and my oh my do I envy her and her skills. Days 7-10 The next few days were consumed by our projects. My partners and I wrestled between grasshopper and sketchbook, tweaking and changing our concepts until the last minute. Both unsure of what we were doing, and how to go about it, our tutors became everything to all of us. They were mediators in and amongst our little quibbles as well as our oxygen masks and life jackets when our deadline struck but project was still far from completion.

10 days. Instances whereby your hurled into an environment with unchartered waters and told to swim. That’s how I feel about this course. That’s how I feel about architecture school in the wider sense too. It sometimes feels so unpleasantly turbulent and hopeless. Yet it’s mostly a mental battle. I realise that I don’t have to be good at it and initially I wouldn’t, but I have to be willing to fail so much so that each struggle is only progress that enables me to inch forward a little bit more each time. The tutors from L.A and Columbia are telling you that you can whilst the girl from Singapore spends her valuable time showing you how. They are your co-pilots, safety vests and rescue team who have no intention of seeing you drawn. And crit? Well crit is the little black box to let you know where things went wrong just so you can fix them next time. I’m sorry for the terrible flight analogy but it’s what came to mind. At the end you breathe a sigh of relief, crack open a beer and all your troubles are a distant memory. We went for our last supper. We talked, laughed, forced our eyes to stay open (unsuccessfully so on my part), then waded up the hill back home, staring at the vast, intensely star lit sky. The sun had set and our time In Haiti had come to an end. I am truly humbled and blessed to have been part of such an experience and if you’re anything like me, you’d be on the next flight out there. With love, Victoria x

The 10th day was 12 January 2015, exactly 5 years to the day the earthquake shook. We gave our respects to the people that had lost their lives. We had a moment of silence for the people we knew and the people we didn’t who had lost family and friends. We prayed for a better tomorrow let by the brave and smart young adults of today. Crit day It was dark by the time I gave my presentation on the last day. One of my team members had gotten an early flight home, software was crashing, computers were dying and I was an anxious wreck. I think there are very few instances in life that would teach me so much in 105

Programme director John Naylor with local volunteers in Kenscoff, during hurricane Matthew.


The rainfall on the street in Kenscoff, during hurricane Matthew.

John Osmond Naylor 5 October 2016

Hurricane Matthew

The waiting Shear unbelievable helplessness, is the feeling that can come even close the first 24 hours before this hurricane. Looking around at bad roofing, telegraph poles on their last stand. Thinking that this street scene may not be here in two days. It is the beginning of October 2016, and I am in Haiti for the October AA Haiti Visiting School to build the first experimental bamboo prototype on the Wynne Farm, for a house selected from our students projects in the summer, by the government department, L’Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics or UCLBP. Earlier that Sunday afternoon I had woken up to this reality of what a hurricane might entail. I wrote a list...A proper list...A realistic list for my return trip, from the home of the Wynne family where we are staying, to the supermarket in Haiti’s economic capital, Petionville. I replaced coconut oatmeal cookies, Mamba, and Pat n To’s, with torches, band aids, black sacks and batteries, many batteries. Though the lack of the queue at the supermarket, or not even a call by the government to cancel school, raised the worry, that no one was prepared and that was soon very apparent. One analogy I can come up with at this point is like watching a crowd of people in quicksand and witnessing the tide coming in. Well that’s almost literally the case in Haiti. The storm surge tide is coming but the quicksand is corruption, poverty, and a world aid infrastructure that knows how to respond to disasters, but not prevent them. Then there is a cold shiver that transmits around the room back in the house that night. As Jane Wynne, the owner of the farm where we are building, stares at me, listening to a small hand-held radio with an authoritative voice in Creole speaking at a very slow, very professional rate. The tone that can only be likened to a

presidential address or some terrible news. It’s terrible. I don’t speak creole but the feeling that transmits around the room is shivering. The radio has said that the residents of the South West populations centres of Les Cayes and Jeremie will not have cities tomorrow. The Storm The only way to describe the noise at 6am was like a TV with no aerial plugged in, the disturbance on the screen and the high pitch hissing. Turn the volume up and that relentlessly surrounded the house. The storm shutters were all closed and the cabin fever set in very early. The light allowed us a level of comfort as luckily the invertor had not been effected and the batteries still had power, however it was for light only. Another worry was that the mobile signal would go down however that was another unfounded fear. The 3G became our best friend to use the multitude of storm tracking apps on our phones. The same apps that seven days before had told us that our next door neighbour Jamaica would get the brunt. By 9am the storm was getting louder, the rain heavier, and looking at the maps, it was apparent that the eye of the storm still had three hours to travel to Haiti. All ten of us in the house were storm newbies. Only Jane would give reference to what a hurricane entailed, the closing of the shutters, the inevitable loss of trees, electricity and basic infrastructure. Call it naivety or recklessness but ignoring the advice of every Facebook message from friends buzzing on my phone, I had to go outside. It was obvious this was going to be a historic storm. It was obvious, even if there was not the huge death toll, Haiti was going to wake up afterwards changed. The fact it was so close to the replay of the election meant that this hurricane could have much deeper lasting impact on Haitian agriculture, politics and no doubt the images of Jeremie with her rusty coloured cathedral standing proud over the 107

No electricity, but cosy with storm shutters closed during the hurricane.


Citizens of Kenscoff, outside during hurricane Matthew.

town, may be gone for ever. We pulled back the hook from the bolt in the thick wooden door and opened it like a submarine hatch. The view was incredible. 15m bamboo bent to the ground, rain creating rivers as it landed. We had to go further, not just the porch but, what about the roof ? The outhouse? The garden? All these questions required exploration. Like standing in a shower we walked to check and find the outhouse porch had already lost roof panels, and there was still three hours until the eye would be closest. Feeling like explorers on an abandoned planet we walked to the deserted road, and taking my camera the desolate shot was broken with a guy in shirt and shorts walking happily in the rain. Surprised we said, ‘Did you know the storm is about to hit?’

clear the road was the image of the day for me. Back in the house we waited for 2pm the eye of the storm being closest, and when the afternoon came you could hear the extra water, the extra wind. As the full brunt of the storm battered the shutters and people huddled in doors the radio sets resounded with two dialogs. The first suggested that the metal and wooden roofs that blew off could be substituted by heavy concrete. The second sought to rightly blame the floods, the devastation and the death toll on a broken ecology, bad buildings and deforestation. It is this second argument the fourth instalment of the AA Haiti Visiting School decided to pick up and amplify.

His reply was not untypical of the attitude Haiti had displayed the week prior. ‘No, everything’s fine, the storm is passed,’ he replied. Daylight for some reason had equated to the storm passing. Most people had assumed the night was the storm and the day was the end. In fact, it couldn’t be more dangerously wrong. With three hours of increased wind speeds, more rain and no doubt more fatalities everyone we passed on the street, checking what was going on, shared the same sentiment. Walking up Route Kenscoff, four men in large rain coats approached. They had decided to do the same as us, warning people of the dangers and had started trying to clear some trees that had blocked the road. Lacking machetes they had decided to go to the Mayor’s office to ask for some, and we decided to do the same to spread the news that nobody seemed to realise, that the storm had not yet hit Haiti. As the BBC wrote about Haiti from the DR, and the American media mentioned Haiti only between the speeches of the presidential nominee Donald Trump, it was apparent the same narrative was emerging, and even with my off and on trips to Haiti I have become accustomed to it. Stock footage, usually from the 2010 earthquake is used to create that tale of a helpless Haiti, doomed to its own fate, by its own making, needing the first world to help, and in turn, making the first world feel better about itself and driving the multi-billion-dollar charitable sector. Well refreshingly this was not the narrative that emerged on the ground, and the four local volunteers, in their own waterproofs and wellies asking for machetes to 109




Doria Reyes Córdova

Bamboo the Plant

Plant Banbou a

Division: Spermatofits

Divizyon: Spermatofits

Sub division: Angiosperms

Sou-divizion: Angiosperms

Class: Monocotiledoneas

klasifikasyon: Monocotiledoneas

Family: Poaceae (Grasses)

Fanmi: Poaceae (Zèb)

Sub family: Bambusoideae

Sou-fanmi: Bambusoideae

Introduction Bamboos are the largest grasses in the world, in the plant kingdom they are the fastest growing. They are perennial, which means they keep their leaves throughout the year. They have no roots, they have rhizomes. This helps the bamboo to have a more effective and faster reproduction. Bamboo is highly resistant against mechanical, animal and chemical exposure, thanks to a hard silicate acid layer of the outer skin. Bamboos have cellulose and lignin, when a bamboo is young have more cellulose. After the first three years of growth the canes start lignifying and silicate slowly. It is only then that they become useful as structural timber.

Entwodiksyon Banbou a se zèb ki pi laj sou tè a pami plant yo epi se yo ki pouse pi vit. Yo perenyal, ki vle di yo kenbe fèy yo tout ane a. Yo pa gen rasin, yo gen sa yo rele rizom. Sa ede banbo a miltipliye tèt li pi byen epi pi rapid. Banbou a rezistan anpil a atak mekanik, animal oswa pwodi chimik, gras a yon kouch di asid silikat ki sou po deyo a. Banbou a gen seliloz ak liyin, lè banbou a piti li gen plis seliloz. Apre twa premye lane kote lap grandi a bwa banbou an komanse liyefye epi ap silikate tou dousman. Se sèlman apre sa banbou a pare pou tounen bwa ou ka mete nan yon strikti.

Difference between bamboos and trees Most of the trees or plants have two cycles of growing, primary and secondary growing. All bamboos sprout with their final diameter. The growth in thickness of a tree is due to the new formation of xylem that every year results in the growth of a new ring. Bamboo does not have xylem in that way. Bamboo can reach their final height in two or four months. In trees, the xylem and phloem make them wither and harder, every year they have more cellulose. Bamboos have cellulose and lignin when they are younger they have more cellulose. After the first three years of growth the canes start lignifying and silicate slowly. Picture opposite: Bamboo growing in Marmelade, Haiti.

Distribution of bamboo in the world Bamboo is originally from Asia, America and Oceania and has the ability to adapt in almost

Diferans ki genyen ant yon banbou ak yon pye bwa Pifo pye bwa oswa plant gen de sik pouse, pouse primè ak segondè. Tout banbou pouse ak dyamèt final yo. Lè yo pye bwa vin pi laj se paske gen lòt zilèm tou nèf ki chak ane ba li yon lòt sèk. Banbou a pa gen zilèm. Banbou a ka rive nan wotè lap rive a nan yon lespas de a kat mwa. Nan pye bwa, zilèm ak floèm ki ladan yo a fè yo vin fletri epi pi di, chak ane yo gen plis seliloz. Banbou a gen seliloz ak liyin, lè yo pi jèn yo gen plis seliloz. Apre twa premye lane kote lap grandi a bwa banbou an komanse liyinfye epi ap silikate tou dousman Kote ou jwenn banbou nan mond nan Banbou an soti Azi, Amerik ak Oseani epi li ka adapte l’ak pifò klima, men ou jwenn li anpil nan klima twopikal ak subtwopikal yo. 111

Principal Parts of the Bamboo.


Parts of the bamboo rhizome.

all climates, being found in abundance in tropical and subtropical climates. The vertical distribution of bamboo is from sea level to a maximum of 4000m, and almost 5000m in some species. There are in the world about 1300 species divided in 90 genders. There are four principal genders: Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachy and Sasa. Morphology of Bamboo The two most important super tribes in the bamboo are herbaceous bamboos and woody bamboos. The difference is the development of the rhizome and the stem. Herbaceous bamboos usually grow in the herbaceous layer of the tropical and subtropical forest and they are pollinated by insects. They are distributed from 29° North latitude to 34° South latitude. Woody bamboos usually grow in open habitats and are pollinated by the wind. They are distributed from 51° North latitude to 47° South latitude. They are characterized by well developed and strong rhizome, lignified culms, new sprouts protected by especial leaves, complex branching system, blade leafs and siliceous bodies vertically elongated. The bamboo rhizome A rhizome is an underground modified stem that is the support of the Bamboo. It also has the function of storing water and nutrients that the Bamboo will need in times of nutrient shortage and each unit or segment of the rhizome has the ability to interconnect with the others with several buds growing horizontally emitting roots and shoots from their nodes. a. Neck of the rhizome b. First stage of the roots c. Adventic roots d. Neck e. Bud Bamboo rhizomes are generally grouped in two main types or categories. Leptomorfus or Monopodial rhizomes (which means thin forms). Paquimorfus or Simpodial rhizomes (thick forms). There is a 3rd form called amfimorfo that is a combination of leptomorfus and paquimorfus. The monopodial type or leptomorphus is the one where the rhizome branch leads to a dominant rhizome which emerges throughout new rhizomes and sprouts. Is short and thick and is characterized by: a. A sub form shape: kind of curved, rarely straight and generally larger then the diameter of the culm in which internodes is

Distribisyon vètikal banbou a soti nan nivo lanmè a se yon maksimum 4000 mèt, rive preske 5000 mèt nan kèk espès. Genyen preske 1300 espès nan mond la divise en 90 espès. Gen kat espès prensipal: Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachys ak Sasa. Mòfoloji banbou a De gwoup ki pi enpòtan nan banbou a se banbou zèb la ak banbou bwa a. Diferans lan soti nan jan rizom yo ak tij la grandi a. Banbou zèb la konn grandi nan kouch zèb yo jwenn nan forè twopikal ak soutwopikal yo epi se insèk ki ranmase polèn nan fè yo miltipliye. Yo jwenn yo ant 29° latitid Nò ak 34° latitid Sid. Banbou bwa yo grandi nan zòn ki ouvri epi se van ki voye polèn yo ale. Yo jwenn yo soti 51° latitid Nò rive 47° latitid Sid. Karakteristik yo se kalite rizom yo ki gen fòs epi ki byen devlope, kulms yo ki liynifye, jèn pous yo ki pwoteje ak fèy spesyal, yon sistèm anbranchman spesyal, fèy an fòm lam ak yon kò ki gen silis ki long Rizom banbou a Rizom nan se yon tij ki fèt yon lot jan ki anba tè kap sipòte banbou a. Lòt travay li se kenbe dlo ak nitriman banbou a ap bezwen lè li an mank; chak pati nan rizom nan ka konekte ak lot yo ak plizyè pous kap soti orizontal pou fè lòt rasin ak lot pous soti nan ne yo. a. kou rizom lan b. Premye etap rasin yo c. Rasin kap kouri d. kou e. boujon Yo groupe rizom banbou yo an de kategori. Rizom leptomorfus oswa monopodyal (ki vle di fòm mens). Rizom Paquimorfous oswa Simpodyal (fòm pwès). Gen yon twazyèm fòm yo rele Anfimorfo ki se yon konbinezon leptomorfus ak paquiimorfus. Sa ki monopodyal la oswa leptomorfus la se yon kote branch rizom lan al jwen yon lòt ki dominan ki soti lòt rizom ak lòt pous. Li kout ak pwès epi karakteristik li se: a. Fòm li: yon ti jan fè koub, preske pa janm dwat epi li pi laj pase dyamèt kulm nan kote antrene a transfòme a b. Yo pi laj pase yo long, solid epi asimetrik, plis lajè sou kote ki kenbe boujon yo. c. Ne yo pa wo ni yo pa gongle d. Boujon lateral yo poukont yo epi tounen rizom yo an jèn koulms. e. Gen presans anpil rasin kap kouri nan pati anba rizom nan epi pye a gen dorsivental yo ki plati/ 113

The growth pattern of rhizomes over years.


Doria Reyes Cรณrdova lecturing on the 2016 course in the Marmelade Bamboo plantation, Haiti.

transformed. b. They are wider than long, solid and asymmetric, more widths to the side holding the buds. c. The nodes are not high or inflated. d. Lateral buds are solitary and become rhizome forms into culms. e. Presents proliferation of adventitious roots in the lower part of the rhizome and dorsivental flattening of the shaft. f. The neck of the rhizome can be short or elongated. Tropical bamboos usually have this type of rhizome. In the sympodial type or paquimorfus the division of branches that has the rhizome has no dominance of one of them and all segments of rhizomes grow about the same size and thickness. Is elongated and thin and is characterized by: a. Cylindrical or sub-cylindrical kind of straight and with a generally smaller diameter than the culm in which apically transforms. b. Internodes are longer than wide, generally hollow really solid and relatively symmetrical. c. The nodes may or may not be evaluated or swelled. d. The lateral buds are solitary and transformed directly into the culm and a few are transformed into rhizome. e. Adventurous roots may be present or not when they are present are organized in simple or scattered. f. The neck of the rhizome is always short. Bamboos northern of temperate areas have mostly this kind of rhizome. Amfimorfus Rhizomes are a combination of the other two types of rhizome. Paquimorfus bud segments gives rise to another rhizome while the segment leptomorfus give rise to more culms. Paquimorfus or sympodial Stem formulation: Cespitose, Bushy plant Typical Genres: Bambus, Dendrocalamus, Elytrostachys, Gigantocloa, and Oxytenanthera. Leptomorfus or sympodial Stem formulation: Diffuse, Separated Stems Typical Genres: Arundinaria, Phyllostachys, Sasa, Shibatea, and Sinobambusa. The Cane or Culm Bamboos have cellulose and lignin, when a bamboo is young have more cellulose. After the first three years of growth the canes start lignifying and silicate slowly. It is only when they become useful as structural timber. The

f. Kou rizom nan ka kout oswa long. Banbou tropikal yo konn gen mòd rizom sa yo. Nan sa ki simpodyal la oswa paquimorfus, divizyon branch ki gen rizom nan pa gen dominans yonn nan yo epi tout pati rizom yo pouse preske menm gwosè ak epesè. Li long ak mens, karakteristik li se: a. Li gen fòm silend oswa sou-silindrik preske dwat ak yon dyamèt ki konn pi piti pase koulm nan kote li transforme a. b. Entrene yo pi long pase yo laj, yo konn vid epi preske simetrik c. Nods yo ka oubyen ka pa gonfle d. Boujon lateral yo poukont yo epi transfòme direk an koulm ak yon ti pati ki vin tounen rizom f. Kou rizom nan toujou kout. Banbou ki nan non zòn tanpere yo gen mòd rizom sa yo plis. Rizomi anfimorfus la se yon konbinezon de lòt tip rizom yo. Pati boujon Paquimorfus yo ap bay plas pou lòt rizom pandan pati leptomorfus lan ap bay plis koulms Paquimorfus oswa simpodyal Koman tij yo rele: sespitoz, plant ki pouse en mas Espès ki konn ladan l’: Bambus, Dendrocalamus, Elytrostachys, Gigantocloa, ak Oxytenanthera. Leptomorfus oswa simpodyal Koman tij yo rele: difize, tij ki separa Espès ki konn ladan l’: Arundinaria, Phyllostachys, Sasa, Shibatea, ak Sinobambusa. Baton an oswa Koulm Banbou a gen seliloz ak liyin, lè banbou a jèn li gen plis seliloz. Apre twa premye lane kote lap grandi a bwa banbou an komanse liyinfye epi ap silikate tou dousman. Se sèlman apre sa banbou a vin bon pou fè bwa nan yon strikti. Po banbou a gen anpil asid silikat. Se kouch silikat di sa ki fè po banbou a rezistan anpil a atak mekanik, animal oswa pwodi chimik, gras a yon kouch di ki sou po deyo a. Ou ka fè gwoup ak banbou a nan fason koulm lan ye a: a. Tou dwat b. Dwat ak yon koub anlè Ne koulms yo ka bay rasin kap kouri, boujon, pikan ak branch, ansanm ak brank kap fleri ak fèy tij. Ne a fòme nan zòn nodal la epi li ki ka gen mak kote fouro koulm nan soti a. Pa andan ne a toujou solid epi li gen yon dyafragm.



bamboo skin contains a high portion of silicate acid. Due to this hard silicate layer of the outer surface, the bamboo is highly resistance against chemical, animal and mechanical exposure. Bamboos can be grouped by the habit of culm: a. Strictly upright b. Erect but arched at the top Culm nodes can form adventitious roots, buds, thorns and branches, also floriferous branches and stem leaves. The node is formed by the nodal region and can have a scar where the culm sheath originated. Internally the node is always solid and have a nodal diaphragm or simply diaphragm. Longitudinal Growth At first the canes appear as small buds at the nodes of the rootstock. There they grow for several years until they emerge from the soil in the shape of short thick conical shoots surrounded by bud leaves. From that point the bamboo shoot will develop into a cane at enormous speed: within 20 or 30 days within a year at the latest it will reach its full size. Even the largest canes can complete their growth within 40 days. The Shoot Each shoot pushing out of the soil contains already in miniature all the nodes, segments and diaphragms which the fully grown cane will possess later. Also the cane diameter remains unchanged as long as the cane stands. The Shape Bamboo canes have a circular cross section and are axially conically tapered. From the base to the top they are more gradual. Shorter canes taper more strongly than the larger ones. For this reason the long canes are preferred for building purposes. Not only the diameter of the bamboo canes decreases with increasing height but also the wall thickness.

Picture opposite: Students cutting bamboo on the 2016 course, in Marmelade, Haiti.

Koman li grandi an otè Bwa a premye parèt tankou ti boujon nan ne rizom yo. Le yo la yo grandi pandan plizyè lane anvan yo soti nan sol la sou fòm yon ti pous konik pwès, kout, ki kouvri ak fèy boujon. De lè sa, pous banbou a pral devlope an yon baton ak yon bèl vitès: nan 20 a 30 jou, 1 an pou pi ta li genten pran tout wotè li. Menm pi gwo baton yo ka fin pouse nèt an 40 jou. Pous la Chak pous kap soti nan tè a gentan gen tou piti tout ne, segman ak dyafragm baton banbou ki fin grandi a pral genyen pita. Epi dyamèt baton an rete menm jan depi lè lap pouse a. Fòm li Baton banbou a gen yon koup en fòm won epi nan aks la li gen yon fòm konik soti nan baz la rive nan tèt li. Baton ki pi kout yo gen plis fòm konik lan pase sa ki pi laj yo. Se pou rezon sa yo prefere baton ki long yo pou fè konstriksyon. Pandan dyamèt banbou a ap desann lè lap pran wotè, epesè mi yo tou ap desann. Koulè a Sifas yon baton banbou ki jèn ap vèt, apre lap vin yo ti jòn, pafwa mawon oswa nwa epi li ka swa gen menm koulè tou patou oubyen li ka gen ti tach sou li.

The Colour The surface of the young cane is green, later becoming yellowish, sometimes brown to black and either of uniform colour or marked by irregular or speckled spots.

Baz la Se nan pati sa dyamèt ak epesè pawa banbou a pi gwo. Pati sa ka mezire nan 4 mèt yo. Distans entrene yo pi kout; nan konstriksyon yo sèvi avè l’pou fè poto.

The Base Is the part with biggest diameter and thickness of the wall. This is usually 4 meters long. The distance in the internodes are the shortest, and in construction in used as column.

Mitan an Dyamèt sa entrede epi distans nan mitan de ne bi gran pase sa ki nan baz la. Nan konstriksyon, se pati ki pi sèvi nan banbou a. Pati sa mezire 11 mèt. Tèt la 117

Sections of the bamboo.


Guadua Angustifolia growing in Marmelade, Haiti.

The Middle The diameter is intermedium and the distance in the middle of two nodes es bigger than the base. For construction, this is the most used part of the Bamboo. The long promedium is 11 meters. The Top The diameter is lower and the distance between nodes is a longer compared with the base. The length is around 4m. Ages of Bamboo Sprout This is the first stage of the bamboo. Emerges with a defined diameter. On the first 30 days grow 4 to 6 cm in 24 hours. Totally covered with culm sheaths. This stage until it gets the maximum height takes 150 to 190 days. There are no branches.

Dyamèt sa pi piti epi distan nan mitan de ne yo pi long pase sa baz la. Longè a ka rive 4m. Laj banbou a Pous oubyen jèm la Se premye etap banbou a. Li soti ak yon dyamèt byen defini Nan premye 30 jou yo lap grandi 4 a 6 cm nan 24h Li kouvri nèt ak fouro koulm yo. Etap sa pran 150 a 190 jou anvan li rive wotè maximum Pa gen anken branch. Viche Etap sa komanse ak fouro koulm yo kap tonbe Entrene yo briyan epi yo gen yon koulè vè entans. Etap sa dire 6 a 24 mwa. Resistans li ba paske li two mouye toujou

Viche This stage begins with the fall of the culm sheath. Green intense and shiny internodes. This stage last 6 to 24 months. The resistance is low because is to wet yet.

Matirite Gen de espès ki vin blan ak tach gri Se bon etap la sa pou ka sèvi ave l’ Stad resistans ki pi bon an Li gen plis pase 2.5 lane Bwa baton sa yo nan mitan touf la, ou pap jwenn yon deyò.

Mature Some species gets white grey spots. This is the correct stage to use. Optimal stage of resistance. Is above the two and half years of age. These poles are in the interior of the cluster and not the outsides.

Sèk Sik pou koupe banbou a Se tan ki pase nan mitan de koupe ki fèt nan yon menm zòn. Li vin depann de posibilite forè a bay. Posibilite a se volim kantite baton ki ka sèvi nan yon tan byen defini pou ka tire plis avantaj.

Dry Adult bamboos, not used, completely degraded. The stem turns yellow some species with red spots. It lose 80% of resistance. Yellow leaves and losing branches in some species. The cycle of life ends and has to be cutted.

Entansite pou koupe banbou a Se kantite baton banbou ou ka koupe nan yon pase. Sa vin depan de koman strikti forè a ye epi se gras a sa ou ka kenbe forè a an sante. Fok genyen yon seleksyon baton yo ki fèt lè yo nan bon etap la; epi li pa ka plis pase 50% baton ki nan forè a. Fok yo koupe baton yo ak balans, sa vle di pa koup plis nan yon zòn pase yon lot. Byen koupe banbou a Se nan fen premye oubyen dezyèm ne a pou pran pou byen koupe banbou a pandan wap bat pou pa kite espas pou dlow rantre nan koulm nan paske li ka vin fè depo dlo ki ka vin kòz maladi epi fè rizom nan malad oswa komanse dekompose. Yo konseye koupe banbou pa premye ak twazyèm jou apre lè lalin nan ap desann grann bonè nan maten anvan soley la leve. Sa fè banbou a gen plis fòs epi ka defann tèt li pi byen kont ti bèt, chanpiyon ak pouriti. Epitou banbou an ap gen plis kabo-idrat ki fè l’gen plis fòs. Lè ou koupe banbou a lè lalin nan

Cutting Cycle The cutting cycle is the time that passes between two cuttings in the same area. This depends on the possibilities of the forest. The possibilities of the volume of the number of poles that can be used in a determinate measure of time. Cutting Intensity Is the number of poles you can cut in one cutting. This depends of the structural


Cutting bamboo with students at 3am in Marmelade, Haiti.


The bamboo plantations of Marmelade, Haiti.

composition of the forest and has to be used for keeping the forest healthy. The cutting has to be by selection of the poles in the correct stage and doesn’t has to be more than the 50% of the poles in the forest. There has to be a cutting in balance it means do not cut more in some areas only.

ap monte, li apèn ka seche epi li pa gen ankenn rezistans si li atake.

Correct Cutting The correct cutting has to be on the end of the first or second node trying to not leave space for water inside de culm because it might occurred water deposits that can causes deceases and make the rhizome go sick or start decomposition. It is recommended to cut in waning moon early morning before sunrise. The first and third day after. This makes the bamboo stronger and with more defence against insects and fungus and rot. Also the bamboo will have have more carberhyrates and will be stronger. When you cut in waxing moon, it hardly drys and has no resistance to the attacks from the outside.


Students building a bamboo parabolic roof, from Makinoi.


Students working at the 2016 October bamboo workshop.

Doria Reyes Córdova

Bamboo the Construction Material

Banbou, materyo konstriksyon

Bamboos have cellulose and lignin, when a bamboo is young they have more cellulose. After the first three years of growth the canes start lignifying and silicate slowly. It is only now they become useful as structural timber. The bamboo skin contains a high portion of silicate acid. It is because of this hard silicate layer of the outer surface that bamboo is highly resistance against chemical, animal and mechanical exposure.

Banbou a gen seliloz ak liyin, lè banbou a piti li gen plis seliloz. Apre twa premye lane kote lap grandi a bwa banbou an komanse liyinfyeepi ap silikate tou dousman. Se sèlman apre sa banbou a pare pou tounen bwa ou ka mete nan yon strikti. Po banbou a gen anpil asid silikat. Se kouch silikat di sa ki fè po banbou a rezistan anpil a atak mekanik, animal oswa pwodi chimik, gras a yon kouch di ki sou po deyo a.

Parameters when using Bamboo in construction Do not use: Bamboo with low resistance Green Bamboo Bamboo younger than 3 years Bamboo with insect attack Bamboo that have bloom Cracked bamboo or with vertical breaks or horizontal cuts You should use: Bamboo older than 3 years. Bamboo with treatment. Dried Bamboo and inmunised. Bamboo with correct cuts and correct joins. Bamboo with correct diameters. Bamboo with correct thigh walls. Do not use: Nails bigger than 6 cm or half inch. (it does not matter if is for fixing a pole of a smaller diameter or fixin joins) Beams fixed with nails to the columns. You should use: Wire tied two or three times in the same measure. Nylon ropes and vegetable ones with a correct diameter and in good condition. Do not use: Green Bamboo because when they dry the tie could get slack. Ties with thin ropes or in bad conditions.

Règleman lè wap sèvi ak banbou nan konstriksyon Pa sèvi ak: Banbou ki gen ti rezistans Banbou ki vèt Banbou ki pi piti pase 3 lane Banbou ti bèt komanse atake Banbou ki fleri Banbou ki fele oswa ki gen fant vètikal oswa orizontal Ou dwe sèvi ak: Banbou ki pi gran pase 3 lane Banbou ki trete Banbou ki seche epi ki jwenn tretman Banbou ki byen koupe ak bon jan jwen Banbou ki gen bon dyamèt Banbou ki gen bon jan epese nan mi li Pa sèvi ak: Klou ki pi gwo pase 6cm owa ½ pous (li mèt se te pou fikse yo baton ki gen ti dyamèt oswa pou kenbe jwen yo) Pout ki kloue nan poto yo. Ou dwe sèvi ak: Fil aligati ki gen menm longè ki mare 2-3 fwa Kòd naylon oswa kòd pit ki gen bon gwosè epi ki nan bon eta. Pa sèvi ak: Banbou ki vèt paske lè lap sech, kòd la ka lache Ne ki fèt ak ti kòd fen oswa ki nan move eta Ou dwe sèvi ak: Banbnou yo te mete seche deyò nan bon 123


You should use: Bamboo that has been dryied at the outside and in a correct way. Ties with wire, nylon vegetable rope or leader ropes. Do not use: Bamboo without a node in the inferior edge. Bamboo that gets frayed when they are hit or when putting wedges on it. You should use: Bamboo columns with the right length. Bamboo with a node at the inferior edge. (this allows to be hit and not get wedges) Bamboo Joints

kondisyon Ne ki fèt ak fil aligati, kòd naylon oswa kòd pit. Pa sèvi ak: Banbou ki pa gen ne nan pwent anba a Banbou ki fele lè yo frape yo oswa lè yap eseye mete lòt piès sou li Ou dwe sèvi ak: Bwa banbou ki gen bon longè Banbou ki gen ne nan pati anba li (sa ki pèmet ou ka frape l’san li pa fann)

Jwen banbou yo

One and twoa ears

Ears or two ears Used to hold beams in cross rectangular sections. Used when the beam has a bigger diameter tan the column. They can be done of the same piece or added from other bamboo.

Zorey oubyen de zorey Yo sèvi avèk li pou kenbe pout yo nan ankadreman en fòm rektang Yo sèvi avèk li lè dyamèt pout la pi gwo pase sa poto a Yo ka fèt nan menm moso banbou a oubyen ou ka ajoute moso ki soti nan yon lòt banbou.


2-ear joint.

Making a 2-ear joint.


Bevel Cut Used in elements with bevel angles that are directly on a horizontal element or a vertical one also on ortogonal elements that are joined on the edges.

Ang 45 degre Yo sèvi ak li nan pyès ki gen ang 45 degre ki poze direk sou yon pyès orizontal oubyen vètikal, li ka tou sou yon pyès a 90 degre ki rankontre nan pwent yo.

Flute Peak Used in diagonal elements and can be leaned on a vertical element or a horizontal one or both at the same time.

Bek flit Yo sèvi avèk li lè piès la an dyagonal epi li ka piye sou yon lot pyès vètikal oswa orizontal, oubyen tou lè de an menm tan. 127


Fish Mouth Used to put together the edge of a beefy Bamboo to a perpendicular pole making a transversal cut of 2 or 3 cm of the imediate lower node.

Bouch Pwason Yo sèvi avèk li pou kole pwent yon gwo banbou ak yon pyès vètikal, kote ou fè yon koup transvèsal sou 2-3cm anba ne ki imedyatman anba li a.






2014 Course

In the mountains above Port au Prince, the flaring glow of the Caribbean sunset has finally turned into night. Tutors and students sit down on a wooden bench whilst out of the darkness a large bonfire crackles away. Looking around the perimeter the illuminated faces of the local community stare into the flames, their hands blurred by vigorous thumping on the drums. The lack of light pollution reveals a kaleidoscope of stars twinkling across the night sky, and all around is blackness. Being 1,000 metres above sea level the air is cold. The breeze rustles through the surrounding bamboo and pine trees with the sound of drums resonating around the valley. The beats make the valley echo to the same rhythms used 200 years ago to secretly communicate vast distances between groups of slaves fighting and earning their freedom. Every so often the rhythm is broken by a splintering sound followed by a bang. This sequential ‘bamboom!’ comes from the bamboo on the fire as the trapped air inside the internodes expands in the heat. (Some believe this is the source of the name ‘bam-boo’.) It has just turned midnight and all involved in the AA Haiti Visiting School are celebrating New Year’s Eve, the day before the course commences. Our hosts are the Wynne family who, through their estate in Kenscoff, have maintained an oasis in the midst of half a century of Haiti cutting down all but 2% of their forests. In our mountain studio a regular work timetable established itself fast. Every morning began early with software tutorials, afternoons were briefly interrupted by the local cuisine of our resident chef, and the evenings were anchored with a lecture given by either tutors or guests. After an initial site mapping exercise in the mountains, students used this mapped dynamic data as the input for a series of formfinding exercises whilst being tutored on new parametric modelling software.

released in the second part of the course. The later part of the week also exposed students to aerodynamic analysis simulations to test against Haiti’s hurricane exposure; bamboo material studies; and these were punctuated with a cultural tour and a night out at the infamous Oloffson Hotel. Barbancourt hangovers notwithstanding, we all strived in the latter days to articulate the strong design decisions which were emerging in the class. The pace was fast and the dedication of all more than matched this speed. To be a student on the course, there are a few skills that are essential: treating a power outage as no big deal; enjoying riding in the back of a pick-up truck; and being ready to dance to Vodou Roots music. The most important skill, however, is the ability to consider two parallel scales in your design methodology. The brief is to design and test at the building scale, however, students are made aware that this concurrently forms one element of a wider vision. The final design and the process must both be able to instruct and inspire others in Haiti to see the potential of utilising bamboo. Our final jury on the 12 January 2014 took on an added significance, being almost 4 years to the hour that the earthquake happened. It started with speeches by the Haitian students followed by a moment’s silence. This reflection only encouraged our resolve as the rest of the afternoon became a manifesto of how we can make Haiti more resilient to both natural threats and move away from the seismically vulnerable current concrete vernacular. The same concrete urban fabric was responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 souls, and even today 150,000 people are still without a home.

This output as well as a new palette of modelling techniques were absorbed and 133

Students exploring the Wynne Farm, Kenscoff, Haiti.


Students exploring the Wynne Farm, Kenscoff, Haiti.

Rose Di Sarno lecturing students on Photoshop software on the 2014 course.


An interior render shows the spatial qualities of the proposed design and material use.


Mehdi Martel, AnalĂ­ GuzmĂĄn, Karl Regis


Lakou Granpa Wynne

This project paid homage to the site of the grave of Victor Wynne who did so much to save the ecology of Haiti in the midst of the era of widespread deforestation. Mapping of the vegetation on the site provided areas which would be free of structure and a light analysis provided areas for the canopy to open. The results of wind testing influenced the directionality of the perforations. A thorough research into the Colombian school of bamboo construction, with the help of our bamboo experts, provided the basis of the structural system.

By taking the ground plane and raising it up as a response to the mapped topography a canopy form was created.



Using parametric modelling techniques the canopy was panellised with the opening of the panels relative to the light intensities which had been mapped on site.


As a means not to affect the current vegetation onsite, the locations of trees were mapped and this meant perforations were made in the canopy to allow trees to protrude.


Different iterations of panel systems were explored.


Given the concentration of open areas on the canopy it was decided to remove one entire corner of the canopy. This was then taken forward with the initial suggestion of a structural system.

To refine the panel openings solar analysis software was employed.



Wind testing was carried out to see the effects of hurricane winds.

All the different elements in the structural system.


Section drawing of the proposed structure.

Structural proposal showing more clearly the openings of the panels.



Local travel agent Jacqui Labrom giving students in 2014 a tour of the downtown of Port au Prince.



Stephanie de la Rosa, Krystel Jeager and Jameson Alexis


Woven Bamboo

Here students looked at using the flexibility of bamboo to weave and therefore create a structural canopy. This would create a covered space in which activities could take place on the Kenscoff site. Mapping of views from the site looking down on Port au Prince became areas to raise up the canopy. Mapping of vegetation on site provided the basis of creating porosity on the canopy itself, creating shade and allowing both recreation and economic activity to take place.


An axo drawings showing how the strucutre sits on the site.


The section drawing showed the directionality of the structure with the height of the interior space suggesting different activities.


By overlaying the information from the light levels on the site this became suggested locations to open up the canopy using the weaving idea referenced in bamboo projects as a possible structural direction.




The final render inside the structure.



Students on the 2014 course enjoying a bonfire for New Year and Haiti’s national day.


The render showing the proposed building onsite, with a ribbed bamboo facade to reduce wind pressure.


Holly Kennedy, Samuel OssĂŠ and Milechka Sterlin



In this project students looked at the view paths over Port au Prince to create four inhabitable spaces which would each project themselves towards these views. Further mapping of deforested tree stumps provided areas to raise up the structure. Wind test analysis showed that the addition of a ribbed facade through using halved bamboo poles actually increased the pressure build up of the wind on the structure. However, using bamboo increased the tension the structure was able to take and therefore showed bamboo as more than capable of responding to the needs of the climate, as well as creating a lightweight structure.





Students mapping their sites on the 2014 course.



Views played a crucial role when mapping the site. Each component of the view was disected and represented through different pixels.

Nathalie Jolivert and Jean Eddy Samedi


Pixelating Bamboo

In Pixelating Bamboo the students looked at the use of adobe blocks on site and speculated whether it would be possible to develop a component using bamboo which would work along side. The result was a bamboo brick, which using the symmetry of the pole, allows the creation of a component based system which uses adobe as a foundation material and the lightweight bamboo brick to build the upper structure. Wind testing resulted in a rotation of the vertical organisation which would allow wind to pass through at higher levels.



The method of constructing the component and also the stacking logic.


To reduce wind pressures the stacking rotated to allow openness at the top. Having bamboo at the top and adobe at the bottom came with structural advantages.

Elevation of the proposed project onsite.









2015 Course

For the second year the AA Haiti Visiting School presented 4 unique visions for the material of bamboo in the Haitian built environment. Students were inserted into the downtown of Port au Prince to map 4 sites which have been derelict for years and left ruined by the earthquake. Students were asked to walk around and observe the informal activities, the demographics, the traffic movement as well as other dynamic factors to develop projects which could address localised needs, but could be critiques by its response to the needs of the wider downtown. The long term agenda of this visiting school is to promote bamboo as an alternative to the heavy concrete though highly developed designs which are contextualised for the Haitian culture and climate. Through the teaching of new software and structural input from ARUP the goal is to demonstrate the opportunity bamboo presents to contemporary Haiti both in terms of performance and aesthetic qualities.

on alluvial soil which can heavily liquefy in the event of an earthquake. With the support of Arup, we were able to develop projects further with structural advice regarding bamboo. The January timing of the workshop over the past two years has meant that the anniversary of the earthquake occurred the day before the final jury. All tutors and students stopped in the midst of the chaos of a studio of architecture students the day before the final presentations to have a minutes silence and hear the experiences of that day from the Haitian students. Any doubts regarding the responsibility of the designer in Haiti are cast aside as students push to ready presentations to show what role considerate design and the material of bamboo can play in a future lightweight Haitian built environment.

Through a series of lectures over the week we learned the many reasons for the downtown still being in the state it is, paralysed from redevelopment. Issues of land ownership, government conservation zones after the earthquake which made investors scared of planning in the long term and failures of security all played their part. Most importantly however the relocation of businesses to the much more affluent sister city of Port au Prince, Petionville, was devastating. All this has not stopped an informal occupation and utilisation of the area which has added a new layer of needs sometimes at odds with the stakeholders and the government. Students are then also expected through their projects to further address the historic, cultural, climatic and seismic characteristics of this part of the original 1776 Port au Prince grid-plan. With this part of the city at the coastal edge of a plain exposed to annual hurricane force winds as well as lying to the north of a major fault line 175

Group 1’s site in the heart of Port au Prince.


Group 1’s site in the heart of Port au Prince.

Marc-Rochnal Louis Jean, Edward Robertson and Ke Er Zhang


Bamboo Public Baths and Car Wash

After mapping the public and private access to water on a specific site in the downtown of Port au Prince, group 1 decided to use their proposal to tackle head on the issue of waster access. Students observed members of the public washing openly on a street corner to the South East of the site and this waste was running from the car wash to the western edge of the site. A mapping exercise was conducted to see the where the public and private areas were as well as the locations and cleanliness of the water. The locations of water on the site formed a topography which would define the areas to be used for public bathing. The public/private mapping formed locations to raise and lower a surface to form volumes for activities to occur and locations for columns to emerge connecting at the ground in locations where privacy was mapped, therefore keeping bathing areas column free. The subsequent surface underwent solar analysis to make sure the bathing areas would be covered in shade 365 days of the year. Wind testing analysis identified pressure build ups on structurally important areas and the form was adapted accordingly to deflect these winds. Solar analysis again was used to create perforations on the canopy to allow light to penetrate through different size openings proportional to the solar intensity.



Site photos of Group 1’s site in downtown Port au Prince.


Site photos of Group 1’s site in downtown Port au Prince.


Site photos of Group 1’s site in downtown Port au Prince.

Group 1 mapping areas of pedestrian, water and vehicular density.


The situation as observed onsite, residents bathe in water from the car wash.


The proposed reversal of the situation.

Collapsed diagram of all the information observed onsite.

The project’s main concepts.


Site mapping, to formal response onsite.


The canopy is defined by another layer of site mapping.

The ground topography is defined by the site mapping.

Solar and wind testing shows alterations to the height and column positions.



Using Geco and Ecotect softwares, students were able to develop optimal perforations on the canopy.


Short Elevation


Long Elevation



Public path, ground floor plan.


Section of the public baths with the bamboo gradshell structure.

Digram showing the perforation size responding to the solar levels hitting the facade. The equalises the interior light condition.



The interior of the public abths.



Group 2’s site mapping.

Victoria Oshinusi, Samuel Ossé and Jacob Werbin


Shade-Reward Scheme

Downtown, Port-au-Prince is Haiti’s original trade intersection. Site 2 sits within the heart of Downtown, diagonal to one of Haiti’s most significant civic landmarks; The Iron Market. As goods are constantly being brought into the centre, it would be advantageous to introduce a recycling collection facility that was in such close proximity to the Iron Market. This would be the beginnings of a recycling infrastructure in Downtown and model for other Haitian cities and their iron markets. Most of Haiti’s economy is built on informal outdoor trade. For this reason we didn’t want to displace the existing markets on and around our site but rather formalise them and provide shade and refuge for the traders whose stalls would still appear as part of the informal street culture. The market stalls and recycling facilities work in tandem. Recycling for the traders would be incentivised and sustained by a shade rewards system, whereby the more you recycle the larger your shade, relaxation area.



Students onsite observed the need for recycling given the prevelance of waste.

The propogation of retail space onsite.

The design for the bamboo retail space and recycling centre.


Students mapped pedestrian density.


Site mapping of pedestrain movement defined new walk paths throughout the site.




Elevations of the project onsite.

Gradual inclination to panormaic conopy view Gradual inclination to panormaic conopy view Recycling facility accessed from the ground Recycling facility accessed from the ground

Recycling as part of the view experience, mirrored by formalised markets. Recycling as part of the view experience, mirrored by formalised markets.

Recycling disposed above and collected through shoots below Recycling disposed above and collected through shoots below NORTH



Group 3’s site location.

Schnight-dy Azilien, Tan Yen Lin and Masha Otello



Group 3’s project showed a daring ambition to confront head on the climatic, programmatic, cultural and political context of the site. Students mapped on site the different products being sold by the informal merchants and proposed formalising these activities into program which would form the basis of the project. The observation that the south east corner of the site sold exclusively education related materials formed an anchor program of education facilities and reading areas at ground level, which would be incorporated into the project. Formally the project proposed a series of pathways which would cross at different heights throughout the site in which people could cross paths and activities would occur. These pedestrianised walkways would emerge from inside the north wing of the Iron Market, (the specific location of the artisans’ stalls) and bridge over the road to the given site. This would bring easy access to artisan skills and augment the education program initially proposed by the group. Both structural input and aerodynamic testing were fully exploited in the design of the helix bridge connections. An ingenious system of convergence and divergence of singular bamboo poles within the structure of the walkways was proposed as a means of the terrain responding to the proposed activities. At the upper levels canopies were created based on a similar helix structural system to that of the bridges. These would frame views of key landmarks of the city. The attention to both the local activities currently adjacent to the site and also the views across Port au Prince showed a consideration of how the project interfaces with the street and also the wider city.


The Iron Market, in downtown Port au Prince.


Adjacent to the Iron Market, a derelict site, remaining from the earthqukake of 2010.


Site mapping showing the density of different activities.


A Grasshopper script resonded to the mapped density by placing mass, as a start of the formal exercise.

An overlay of all the mapped data onsite.



Bamboo walkways made from thin poles of Makinoi bamboo at different states of tension.

The plan of the walkways engaging with the drelict site and upper level of the Iron Market by bridges.



A section of the vacant site showing the different programmes occuring.

A section showing the upper levels of the Iron Market, activiated throguh new pedestrian flow.



The structural section of the Makinoi bamboo walkways.

Wind testing on the bamboo helix bridge design, to connect to the Iron market.



The bamboo walkways on the vacant lot, creating a new public space for Port au Prince.



Site visit to the site of Group 4.

Jupille Facile, Mercedes Hanche and Clichy Beauvil


Tap Tap Market

The site is located in the heart of Port-auPrince. To get an impression of the plot and its context, the group mapped the site with three themes: texture, sound and pedestrian flows. The result of the analysis of the site and its context is the basis for the program. On the north-east side of the plot, there is a Tap Tap station (Bus station) substantially affecting the traffic on the road and providing a lot of noise. There is also a market on the north side which is not protected against the weather. Because the Tap Tap station and the market are heavily frequented, an area is created in the form of a cafĂŠ or restaurant where people can relax. The developed design proposal is based on the existing texture. Buildings in good condition are being kept and buildings in bad conditions were being demolished. Keeping the memory and the characteristics of the old ones, the new design elements leave a footprint of the old building type. In the design a former building at this point reflects every solitary element in size and height. Memories of past times have been reinterpreted by modern elements. The roof consists of a grid shell structure with an irregular geometry and is constructed with lightweight glue-laminated bamboo. To realize the construction of these individual elements, it is necessary that they have a round shape with a rising angle of 30 degrees. This structure has then been covered with a translucent waterproof membrane, that allows enough brightness in the interior . The large overhanging roof protects from the weather and provides shade for the visitors.


Pedestrian density mapping.


Site mapping by Group 4.

Overlay of site mapping and initial concept.



The human scale of the Tap Tap station.


Plan view of the bamboo cones forming the Tap Tap station covering.


Wind test analysis on the Tap Tap Station form.

The pedestrian and vehicular flow, conceputal drawing.

Wind test analysis on the Tap Tap Station form.



East elevation of the Tap Tap Station.

West elevation of the Tap Tap Station.





Interior of the Tap Tap station.





2016 Course

For thirteen days in the summer of 2016 six tutors and eighteen students from around the world and Haiti were working to design a 25sqm bamboo ‘core house’. We were working between the Port au Prince Bidonville of Baillergeau, and the bamboo plantations of the north of Haiti in Marmelade. The dwelling being designed was to be straightforwardly constructed by the family or occupant for less than $7,700 and would affectionately introduce bamboo as a new material to live alongside. This dwelling is to be initially designed for a family and/or owner to build a minimal one or two room dwelling. The design had to take into account expansion in the event the owners can afford and space allows for an additional building at the back or the side of the lot allowing the home to increase in size as the economic situation or the family size increases. At the half way point of the course, students engaged in a community consultation exercise with project managers and homeowners on the Baillergeau site. This was a two-way exchange, not to pitch the project but the engage the concerns of the community to working and living with bamboo. This exercise affected all the designs both structurally and programmatically. Since many people who moved to the Bidonvilles of Port au Prince still own land in rural parts of Haiti, this exercise did not just pitch bamboo as an urban building material but as an alternative rural income generator. Before the final presentations at the Oloffson Hotel on the 11th August, we all spent five days in the North of Haiti in the bamboo plantations of Marmelade. We were introduced to a wide range of species which could all be part of a future bamboo based built environment in Haiti. This experience allowed the students to simultaneously use cutting edge design and testing software and undertake bamboo construction to see how joints, or components within their design, would be built from a carpenter’s perspective. The plantation of

Pandan trèz jou nan ete 2016 la sis pwofesè ak dizwit etidyan ki soti Ayiti ak lòt kote nan mond la te travay pou yo te desinen yon kay banbou ki mezire 25 mèt kare. Nou te travay nan zon Bayerjo, yon bidonvil nan Pòtoprensh, ak nan plantasyon banbou ki nan Mamlad nan Nò Ayiti. Se mèt Kay sa yo tap panse pou li a oswa moun yo ki ta pral rete ladan li ki te dwe bati li pou pi piti pase 7,700$ epi yo te dwe mete banbou ladan l’ tankou yon materyo nèf. Kay sa dwe fèt pou yon fanmi ak/oubyen mèt li ka bati omwen yon oubyen de pyès ladan’l. Desen an dwe konsidere ka kote mèt kay la ta vle fè yon ekspansyon si li vin gen kòb pou sa, ak si espas la pèmèt mete yon lot batiman dèyè oswa devan sa kap pèmèt kay la vinn pi gwo a mezi sitiasyon ekonomik fanmi an ap vin miyò. Nan mitan pwojè a, etidyan yo te patisipe nan yon aktivite kominotè kote yo te rive pale ak fòman epi mèt kay ki soti nan zòn Bayèjo a. Se te yon echanj sou tou lè de bò, kote yo pa tap eseye vann pwojè a men yo tap chèche konprann enkyetid kominote a te genyen ak travay banbou a epi rete nan yon kay ki fèt ak banbou. Egzèsis sa te vin chanje tout desen yo nan fason strikti a ak kay la te panse. Anpil moun kap viv nan bidonvil Pòtoprens gen tè andeyò, ki fè aktivite ta pa te sèlman pou montre sa banbou ka fè nan konstriksyon, men kòman li ka yon sous lajan andeyò a tou. Anvan prezantasyon final la ki te fèt 11 Daout nan otel Oloffson nan, nou te pase senk jou nan Nò d’Ayiti nan plantasyon banbou Mamlad la. Nou te vin aprann rekonèt anpil lòt varyete banbou ki ka vin sèvi pou bati yon Ayiti ak banbou. Eksperyans sa te bay etidyan yo okazyon pou yo te inove ak lojisyèl pou fè tès ak desen epi li te pèmèt yo tou wè ak yon ebenis koman jwen oubyen pyès nan desen yo a te ka fèt. Plantasyon Mamlad la te yon koleksyon tout kalite banbou etidyan yo te ka sèvi. Aprann fòs ak feblès plizyè espès banbou te enpòtan pou desen kay la ak tout pati ebenis la. Sistèm “kay kap grandi” a tounen yo sijè 229

Core Hosuing - Villa Verde Housing by ELEMENTAL. PhotographsSuyin Chia, Cristian Martinez, Courtesy of ELEMENTAL


Tutors and students onsite in Marmelade.

Marmelade was a pallet of different bamboos for the students to use. This awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of various species was as important to the design and carpentry itself. ‘Incremental housing’ is a subject within the contemporary field of architecture which has a lot of attention currently as shown by the appreciation of the work of Alejandro Aravena who won the Pritzker Prize in 2016 with open source designs for cheap affordable ‘incremental housing’ and the current focus of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

yo bay anpil atansyon nan domèn achitèkti kontanporen an, jan sa parèt nan koman yo apresye travay Alejandro Aravena ki genyen pri Pritzker a an 2016 a kòz yo seri desen “kay kap grandi” ki bon mache epi ki disponib pou tout moun epi jan yap gade Byenal Achitèkti 2016 Veniz la. Konsiy desen AA Haiti 2016 la te bay etidyan yo defi pou travay ak yon pwogram global, epi ki te mande yo respekte kilti Ayisyen nan pwojè yo. Tout sa pandan yap sèvi ak yon materyo tankou banbou ki pa konn sèvi nan konstriksyon Ayiti epi nan yon sitiasyon insekirite, menas desas natirèl, epi san rout, san sistèm sanitè, ak anpil moun ki pa alfabetize.

This AA Haiti Summer 2016 design brief has challenged the students to work within this global agenda, at the same time providing projects which can respect aspects of Haitian culture. Whilst utilising an alien material to Haitian such as bamboo, and do all this in a context with security fears, natural threats and without roads, sanitation, or literacy. The 2016 Brief: Bamboo Core Housing (Issued to all students in July 2016) Over the course of 13 days, in groups of 3, you are being asked to design a 25sqm ‘core house’ with a structural system which can be straightforwardly constructed with a minimal variation of components. This has to be constructed by, or with the direct involvement of the owners or family so they can feel ownership of the process. This home has to be earthquake resilient 2*, and resistant to hurricane winds of 80 m/s. The home must utilise a domestic species of bamboo in the primary structure however you are not limited only to using bamboo for the rest of the construction. This house must be easily replicable by others in the community who can learn from the construction and use the finished building as reference. This ‘core house’ has to affectionately introduce bamboo as a material to live alongside. This has to be aesthetically desirable to be chosen by the occupier or family and spatially functional responding to the perceived utilitarian social and cultural needs of Haitian society. This should be presented through a communicative medium applicable to both the local community and government agencies. * earthquake resilience will be discussed however; we do not expect you to claim earthquake resilience through this at the end of this course. 2. Seismic Hazard Maps for Haiti (2011), Arthur Frankel, Stephen Harmsen, Charles Mueller, Eric Calais and Jennifer Haase


Students visiting the Baillergeau site.


UCLBP’s curring core house design, we are to propose a bamboo alternative.

What is a ‘Core House’? This is a residence conceived to be built and inhabited through an ‘incremental approach’ to urban self-built housing. Terms such as progressive development (Turner 1976), instalment construction, or building ‘serially’ (Abrams 1964), can also be used. This is initially designed for a family and/or owner to build a minimal one or two room dwelling. The design has to take into account expansion in the event the owners can afford and space allows for an additional building at the back or the side of the lot, or a second story if adequate foundations and structure are provided for. Aspects of the Design to Consider These areas should be represented in drawings or through annotation on diagrams visually and described at the final jury. Primary structure to be made from domestically available bamboo species Outer finish and waterproofing Doors and windows Foundations Roofing Electricity (not in a great degree of detail but identify how sockets are above possible flooding lines and the provision of a solar panel) Interior flooring Sanitation (only need to explain the location of a compost toilet) Fire proof food preparation area Affordable for under $7,700 (though we do not expect you to price each element, bear in mind the affordability of your design, and it is also worth considering that something not affordable now can be affordable in the future through new technology or in economy of scale) Vernacular Design Considerations (by Nathalie Jolivert) High Ceilings – Large walls to decorate, allow the hot air to rise away from the occupants. Windows – Allows ventilation and light to penetrate. Porches and Balconies (Galri) – A mediation between the neighbourhood life and the family life. A means of enjoying the open air, extending the living space all without the suffering the Caribbean Sun. Greenery (Jadin) – Both an aesthetic feature to bring nature back into these densely populated neighbourhoods and a great water catchment solution especially in a city without storm drains. 233

Franck Vendryes lecturing on bamboo.


Students haresting bamboo in Marmelade.

New Materials At the heart of the project is an acceptance that the current materials endemic in Port Au Prince construction are not adequate for the long term sustainability of the Haitian economy and ecology. This housing project is now seen as a means of being able to integrate lightweight materials such as bamboo into a level of building which can have the widest possible impact in the Port-au-Princian population now estimated to be 2.6 million in the ‘Aire MĂŠtropolitaine’. By specifying bamboo this project is intended to create a demand for bamboo and engender this material to the Haitian construction sector however this will be the democratic choice of the family or occupier to live in a bamboo house and therefore this has to be visually and functionally appealing. Project Evaluation Process Each of these headings must also be referenced in your project and mentioned in your final jury. Local, Social and Cultural considerations How are you addressing the needs of the occupiers on an individual and societal level? Climate - How does your design respond to the climate of Haiti in order to make the house a comfortable dwelling for the occupants? Techniques and Materials - What prior skills/materials are you utilising and what new knowledge/materials are you implementing? Typology - What makes this a home in the context of Haiti? Economy - Is your design affordable within $7,700 USD? Can it provide new job opportunities from the skills needed in construction? Site - How does your design respond to what you observed onsite? How does your design fit into the wider challenge of re-establishing this neighbourhood as a part of the city?


Students and tutors efficiently using transport.


Franck Vendryes and Doria Reyes Cordova working with students.

Students working in the studio in Marmelade.

Bamboo model making exercises with students.


Students onsite in Baillergeau.


Stopping to buy mangos just beyond Gonaives, enroute to Marmelade.

Students harvesting bamboo.

Doria Reyes Cordova lecturing in Marmelade.



Kay Parapli, in context onsite.

Pablo Acevedo, Yukiko Yoshida, and Marc Rochenal Louis Jean


Kay Parapli

This project designed a core house which would also provide a large amount of possible commercial space for the family to utilise. The roof is designed to catch rain using an innovative system of cutting the bamboo in a way to make water collecting shingles. These shingles when filled with water add to the weight of the roof providing more resilience in a hurricane, whilst the angle of the slope provides an optimal location for the addition of solar panels at a later date. The roof is designed to be easily removed if the family are able to build the upper story of the building. Shading around the side of the ‘core’ protects the bamboo structure from rain and UV light whilst acting as a catalyst for commercial space.

Pwojè sa tè desine yon kay ki tap kite anpil espas fanmi an te ka sèvi pou fè komès. Tèt kay la fèt pou li ka ranmase dlo lapli ak yon sistèm yo inove kote yo koupe banbou a yon jan pou li fè twil banbou ki ka kenbe dlo. Twil sa yo lè yo plen dlo fè plis pwa sou kay la epi bay plis fòs pou li resiste ak siklòn, epi ang pant lan bay yon bon kote pou ta mete pano solè si ou ta vle. Tèt kay la te panse pou li ka leve fasil si fanmi an ta vle mete yon etaj sou kay la. Lonbraj sou kote kay prensipal la pwoteje banbou a pou dlo lapli ak solèy pa bat li, epi li sèvi pou atire moun nan zòn komès la.


Core house strucutre.


Bamboo water catchment and cooling system.

Core house with overhang strucutre.

Core house is also able to act as commercial space for the residents.


Non bamboo elements of the design.


Floor plans of both the ‘core’ and completed house.

The expansion beyond the ‘core’ house.

Addition of more bamboo elements and introduction of exterior upper circulation.


Initial ‘core’ floorplan.


Upstairs floorplan.

Conceptual diagram of the proect.

Ability for the design to proliferate.


Conceptual diagram of the project.


A piece of architecture with a wholistic apporach.

Yussef Agbo-Ola, Anthoula Tsagkataki, and Jean Widny Lordeus


Kay Flote Ansanm

This project looked at building the ‘core’ on pilotis giving the occupants security on a ‘unit scale’ by moving the family above the ground and security on a neighbourhood scale by using the view created by this raising to observe the street. As more of these core houses are placed adjacent to each other a raised circulation between units can be formed by combining the ‘galri’ spaces provided by each unit. The initial ‘core house’, in being raised above the street, provides the space underneath for the home to grow or for a unit to be built so it can then be rented by the occupier. The column organisation on the ground level is designed to provide as much column free utilisable space as possible in order to allow for a range of programmes if the family did not want to extend the residential programme downwards. During the community consultation, a local homeowner suggested that the area could benefit from an internet café and space for local students to learn about computers. Plastic bottles are proposed as a way to incorporate the issue of non-organic waste disposal into the project.

Pwojè sa panse fè kay la kanpe sou poto pou bay moun kap viv ladan l’yo sekirite paske yap viv anlè, epi sekirite nan vwazinaj la paske kay la ki anwo a pèmèt swiv sa ka pase nan lari a. Lè ou vin gen plis kay sa yo kotakot, vin gen yon sikilasyon ki ka fèt anba li lè tout ti galri sa yo mete ansanm. Lè kay la elve konsa tou, li pèmèt sèvi ak espas anba a pou fè lòt pyès mèt kay la ka lwe. Fason poto yo òganize anba a pèmèt tou pou pa gen poto ki nan mitan pyès yo pou fanmi an ka ranje li jan li vle si li pa ta vle fè yon lòt kay nan premye nivo a. Pandan rankont ki te fèt ak kominote a, yon mèt kay te di se yon cyber cafe li tap fè ladan l’ak espas pou elèv lekòl ka vin aprann enfòmatik. Ekip la te bay lide tou pou yo te sèvi ak boutèy plastik nan kay la pou mete dosye fatra ki pa òganik yo nan pwojè a.


Community engagment exercise.


Community engagment questions.

Design of the bamboo arch to be built from Makinoi bamboo.

Wind analysis on the proposal.


Axo diagram of the proposed design.


Elevation drawings.


Water collection system.


The proposal in context, showing the occupation of the lower level.




The structural elements of the proposal.

Roofing system.

Bamboo bahareque techniques.



The design and construction of the prototype arch.


The design of the expansion of the housing on the urban scale with upper circulation between houses.


The master-plan view of he housing proliferating. The lower story of the proposed house being used as the centre of the community.


Vernacular references for the plan.


Proposed concept for the house.

James Turner, Simon Abboud, and Ego Jusmé


Kay Banbou

This project was designed to provide a high level of flexibility in how the structure could be occupied by one, or two or more families. This project allows for multiple options for commercial space at the ground level as well as options for external or internal vertical circulation to allow for more than one occupant in the house. A very simple but strong structural wall was developed which could be replicated around the perimeter of the structure. Using guadua bamboo this project is design both on the building and urban scale. The roof is designed to collect water and underground the water storage area is designed to form a piece of a wider infrastructure so as these houses are built the water infrastructure for the community emerges.

Pwojè sa te desine pou bay anpil fasilite nan koman kay la te ka pran yon, de oswa twa fanmi. Pwojè sa pèmèt plizyè fason pou gen komès nan premye nivo ak moyen pou van pase deyo ak andan rive anlè pou kite plis pase yon fanmi viv nan kay la. Yo te fè yon mi pòtè ki simp, solid ki tap kopye sou tout perimèt kay la. Pwojè sa te sèvi ak Guada pou li ka sèvi andan yon katye tou. Tèt kay la fèt pou li ka ranmase dlo lapli epi sitèn yo ki anba tè a fèt yon fason pou li ka yon ti pati nan yon pi gwo sistèm pou lè plis kay sa yo ap bati, tout kominote a vin jwenn dlo.



The bamboo house onsite, in Baillergeau.









House section, onsite in Bailergeau.


Model of the bamboo structural panel, which can be replicated through the strucutre.


Building a scale model of the structural panel, in Marmelade.

Replicable structural panel.

Key joints in the structure.



Render showing the proposed neighbourhood scale.


Karamba software being used to test the force of the wind pressure on the bamboo structure.


Wind testing analysis to discover the pressure build up against the proposed structure.

The concept behind the facade panels.

Using the bamboo as form-work for the adobe or concrete walls at the base of the building.


Strategy to allow light into the building.


Building elements.

Water collection system.

Centralised water collection area on the neighbourhood scale.



The neoghbourhood scale.



Astrid Cam Aguinaga, Jupille Facile, and Parnel Presna


Kay Idantite

In this project an observation was made that by rotating the pitched roof 45 degrees, more occupy-able space could be generated on the upper floor. Therefore, the parabolic roof came to be a functional but distinctive feature. This roof is also very easy to build by being constructed with straight elements, the double curve effect is generated which allows hot air to escape at the high points and rain water to be collected at the low points. The project also looks to tackle any material wastage with the bamboo onsite. Small offcuts are used to create a planted façade for greenery to proliferate giving the family or occupants a vertical ‘jadin’. The upstairs has a ‘galri’ space and the project has options of both internal or external vertical circulation to allow for one or two occupants in the finished house.

Sa ekip sa te wè se si ou vire tèt kay la sou on ang 45 degre, vin gen plis espas ou ka jwenn nan premye etaj la. Sa vin fè tèt kay parabolik la vin gen yon itilite men li fè ka inik tou. Tèt kay sa trè fasil pou fè tou ak baton banbou dwat ki vin bay koub yo kifè van cho a ka soti nan pati ki pi wo yo epi dlo lapli a ka ranmase nan pati ki pi ba yo. Pwojè a eseye sèvi ak tout fatra banbou a ka fè sou chantye a. Ti moso yo ka sèvi pou fè fasad kay la on fason pou mete plant ladan yo, ki vin bay fanmi an yon ti jadin. Etaj la gen yon galri epi pwojè a kite van pase deyo ak andan rive anlè pou ka gen plis pase yon fanmi ki rete nan kay la.











Kay Idantite on site in Baillergeau.


Differences between the initial core and the completed house.


The structural strategy using bamboo.

Hsu Myat Aung, Schnight-dy Azilien, and Junior Emmanuel


Vwaznaj se Fanmniy

This project was simultaneously developed on the building and urban scales. The L shaped plan is designed to provide sheltered space in the shadow of the building allowing courtyards, or ‘Lakous’ to form when two or more of these houses are built adjacent to one another. The ‘core’ comprises the lower floor of 25sqm along with the entire structure and roof which is designed to capture rain water. The upper story is exposed to the sun when only the lower floor is built and therefore hanging gardens are proposed to lower the solar exposure to the upper level, both protecting the bamboo and providing a comfortable terrace for the family. As the family or occupant gets richer the upper floor can be occupied by simply filling the structure with walls. The house is also designed to promote the functionality of the ‘Lakou’ by offering a portion of commercial space at the lower level which can create an income for the occupant and foster activity within the courtyard.

Pwojè sa te panse pou li ka fè ti katye tou. Plan kay la an L la desine pou bay lonbraj sou bo kay la, ki fè lè ou mete de ou twa kay yo yon a kote lòt, li vin fè ti lakou. Kay prensipal la fè 25 mèt kare, li tou gen ladan l’tout strikti kay la ak yon tèt kay pou ranmase dlo lapli. Etaj la ap pran solèy le tan pou li fin konstwi, kifè yo bay lide pou mete plant pou fè yon jadin pou bese kantite solèy anlè a ap pran, sa kap pèmèt pwoteje banbou a epi bay fanmi a yon teras. Lè fanmi a vin gen mwayen, se sèlman mi lap gen pou monte. Kay la desine on jan tou pou li fome lakou pou moun yo ka fè komès anba a, sa kap pèmèt yo rantre on ti kòb epi mete aktivite nan lakou a.



The proposed completed house visualised onsite.


The proposed arrangement on the urban scale, if space allows.


The building’s water collection strategy.

The initial core house plan.

Differnet variations of the house plan.


Using the bamboo offcuts in order to make decorative elements.


The proposed house able to work in both formal and informal neighbourhoods.

Climate analysis to determine planting strategies on the upper floor, before the full house is completed.

Opportunity for commercial space on the lower floor.



The ‘Lakou’, which is created through the clustering of the homes.












The proposed homes built in a formal manner.


Jorge Mayorga, Regine Tesserot Fabius, and Elysée Morancy



The plan of this project aimed to break up the suggested 25sqm footprint into three smaller squares. This arrangement would allow the plan of the building to be more sympathetic to the irregular nature of the sites where a building such as this could be placed, whilst also providing a great deal of privacy in the interior. Three very defined rooms are created within the 25sqm. The ‘core’ is also to be built with the entire structure for the expansion, and roof. This means that the occupants get a covered roof terrace with the ‘core’ and at a later date the structure can be filled to provide more space for the family, or a second unit to be rented. The project has options of both internal or external vertical circulation to allow for one or two occupants in the finished house.

Plan pwojè sa eseye kase 25 mèt kare a an twa ti kare. Aranjman sa pèmèt plan kay la adapte l’pi fasil ak yon teren en pant, paske kay la ka mete sou li epi li kenbe entimite fanmi an. Twa chanm kay fèt nan 25 mèt kare sa. Kay prensipal la bati tou ak tout tèt kay la ak strikti a pou ka mete ekspansyon an. Sa vle di moun nan kay la vin gen yon teras ki kouvri epi pi devan yo ka monte rès mi yo pou gen plis espas oswa pou lwe. Pwojè sa bay posibilite pou gen sikilasyon vètikal oubyen orizontal pou ka genyen yon ou de fanmi nan kay la. Kote kizin nan ye a yo monte yo mi blok. Sa vle di menm si kizin nan andedan, li gen mwens chans fè banbou a pran dife. Tèt kay la fè yon koub pou ka ranmase dlo lapli, li fèt ak yon seri ang dwat epi li kouvri ak fèy tòl.

The project has options of both internal or external vertical circulation to allow for one or two occupants in the finished house. A cement block wall occupies one wall of the structure which is where the kitchen is placed. This means that the indoor kitchen will not pose a fire risk to the bamboo. The roof is curved to collect rainwater and is constructed from a series of regular angles and sheet metal. This can be easily made using a jig at 30degrees meaning the complex curvature can be easily recreated in a low tech way.


The ground floor plan.


The ‘L’ plan, ground floor plan.

00 3. 2.


3. 00 00 2. 3.




1. 89




Configuration ‘Three’, plan drawing.





















Variations of the 25 sqm plan.




















Simplified construction strategy of double ‘curved’ roof for water collection.







Construction strategy of initial ‘core’ house.






Construction strategy of the full house.



Initial ‘core’ house and full finished 2 storey home.

Interior sketch of the house.










Material strategies in the house.









WORKSPACE ESPAS POU TRAVAY Programmatic arrangement in the house.



The proposed house on site in Baillergeau.


Developing bamboo models in the studio.


Students working in the Oloffson hotel, summer 2016.

Initial design phases, during the Summer 2016 course.

Group 1 design tutorials on the 2016 course.


Tutors and students in Marmelade.


Group 3 working in the studio on the 2016 course.

Farah Hypolitte from FOKAL lecturing students on the history and typlogy of the Haitian Gingerbread Houses

Students out and about in Port au Prince.


Group 6 design tutorial on the Summer 2016 course.


Students visiting the Baillergeau site, Summer 2016.

Group 4, on the 2016 course at the final jury.

Representitives from UCLBP and the Ministry of Public Works, talking with tutors, in Marmelade, Haiti.


Group 6, conducting their community engagement conversation about the design and the wider questions of the use of bamboo.


Tutors at the final jury.

Group 6 presenting their project at the final jury.

Service station in Marmelade, Haiti.



On site construction, on the October 2016 course.

October 2016

2016 FALL

2016 Fall Course Constructing The First Bamboo Prototype The Building In October 2016, we will be building a small first prototype. This project will allow us to teach the necessary skills to a team of carpenters and engineers to work with bamboo on a real project. This first small prototype is designed to educate a large group of people with the necessary skills to build components that can be used in their own construction, and also provide us with a team of skilled labourers to employ in the Summer of 2017 on the second prototype. We will be teaching 4 key skills as well as other sustainable building techniques and software skills. The 4 main skills are below: Bahareque Walls We will be teaching the technique of bahareque similar to wattle and dorb construction for the walls. This technique using bamboo, cement and mud will allow people to learn how to convert a bamboo structural wall into a wall which looks like cement and has a flattened smooth finish, which can be painted afterwards. This is something we found important form the community consultation, since every resident said they would prefer a bamboo house however they were worried about security and wanted solid looking walls. Once taught, these techniques can be used be all attendees of the course.


The proposed hybrid design of Group 4 and 5’s projects from the summer 2016. The prototype which is to be built.


The parabolic roof strucutre.

Guadua columns and primary structural system.

Concrete foundations.


The border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


Loading the bamboo for the course on the Tap Tap, at the Domincan border.

Columns We want to teach a simple column technique that would allow anyone with 5 poles of bamboo to make an extremely strong structural column that could be used in many scenarios in their own building projects. This is a very simple technique and can be down with threaded rods, or even bamboo dowels in order to minimise cost. In both cases this is a very strong element in construction which can be used by all, and possibly sold by those who make it, in rural areas where the bamboo would be sourced. Flooring We will be teaching the splitting of the bamboo which will allow people to make flooring which can be used in many scenarios. The splitting of the bamboo is one technique that can give people a product from the bamboo pole that can also be used in craft. This flooring system is very strong and once learned can be used even in non bamboo structures to provide strong, cheap sustainable upper flooring to structures. Roof We will be constructing a parabolic roof which is very easy to construct. With only straight elements this overall double curvature which is created is a very iconic form but also a very good roof for water collection at two points. This is a roof that can be easily replicated even without a bamboo house structure and allow people to live under a bamboo roof by building these at home themselves. Sourcing the Bamboo Our main sources of bamboo in Haiti are Marmelade in the North of the country, and also a plantation in Camp Perrin in the South West of Haiti.. Our experience in Marmelade over the Summer told us we would not be able to get the material we needed for the strucutre and as we were finally about to purchase bamboo from Camp Perrin, hurricane Matthew hit and the eye of the storm hit the town of Camp Perrin. We knew that we wanted to use bamboo that was growing in Haiti and therefore we turned to the sister project of Marmelade in the Dominican Republic. We bought bamboo from Coop Bambu in Bonao, just north of Santo Domingo. After an initial visit to the factory and plantation it was apparent the quality was good and the team there were also very passionate about bamboo. We purchased 200 poles of Makinoi and 30 poles of guadua, all either 6m or 8m in length. We had to set off from Port au Prince to collect the material 331


Driving back to Port au Prince with the bamboo.

at the Jimani border, since the Dominican delivery vehicle could not drive in Haiti. After clearing all the necessary customs in the rain and loading the bamboo from the truck in the Dominican Republic to a Tap Tap we brought the material into Haiti. With all transportation, material, and customs duties we were able to get the bamboo to Haiti for $18 per pole of Guadua, and the Makinoi at $5 per pole. Design Brief Students were asked to take an element of the building and use this query to drive a small design project. This was very wide ranging and would perform as an opportunity to learn the software and design methodology, whilst performing critical analysis on the strucutre that we are building.


1. Clearing the site.


2. Levelling the site.

3. Placing of foundations.



4. Placing of columns.

5. The fitting of the lower beams.



6. The placing of upper beams in a single direction.

7. The placing of the remaining upper beams.




8. Addition of the upper columns. (The method of construction is also a blueprint for other to add to their own structures in similar ways.)


9. Placement of ring beam and roof poles to form the parabolic roof.


It gets dark very quickly, the last moments onsite.


Prototype construction site.

Students receiving their certificates on the Constructing bamboo course.


Students working at the construction workshop.


Students working at the construction workshop.

Students working at the construction workshop.


Students working at the construction workshop.


Students working at the construction workshop.

Students working at the construction workshop.


Students working at the construction workshop.


Constructing the walls of Kay Banbou from adobe from local soil, vetiver and ‘river’ sand.

Esterilla panels made from Latiflorus bamboo as a sun shading system on the interior of ‘Kay Banbou’

The exterior of ‘Kay Banbou’. The project nearing completion.



Kay Banbou prototype structure, by night.






Various sections of the design of the school/community centre programme.

Marilou Veillard

2016 FALL

Transportable Community Centre and School

This project was a response to a site visit to the NanPanyol village which is in Kenscoff and adjacent to the Wynne Farm where the October construction workshop was being held. In visiting the school in the village only 3 weeks after hurricane Matthew had hit it was obvious the precarious situation the students were studying in since the school had been badly damaged in the storm. Even before the storm however there had been placed two UNICEF tents (though it is not known if they were installed by UNICEF). These tents were additional classrooms for the school, and also served a social function as a community gathering space when an issue in the village needs to be discussed. The school therefore was already functioning as a community centre and this project aimed to synthesise the two programmes in one typology which could be constructed from locally sourced bamboo and also become a blueprint for similar projects elsewhere. Based around the typology of the Lakou, this ‘U’ shaped plan was designed to create an amphitheatre space in which discussion could occur. The interior of the building would be the home to a school and possible commercial space which would require a large overhang or ‘galri’ space which could be shaded. These programmes where sketched out through sections and applied to the plan. These two programmes as well as the interior programme drove the formal expression which was a medication of the different sections. The inward looking, defensive nature of the design was also a response to the external climatic factors, shading the gathering space from the sun, and protecting he interior from hurricane winds.


The site of the school.


Some of the tents being use currently as classrooms and a community centre.

Outer surface

Interior surface

Bamboo structure

The configuration of the community centre/school.





The community aspect of the central courtyard.


Research into houses effected by Hurricane Matthew.


Ivan O’Garro

2016 FALL

Banbou en Ayiti

This project sought to make an easy tool to inform people about how to optimise the plnating of bamboo, using 3D modelling software and a parametric programme known as Grasshopper.. The Grasshopper definition is a tool land owners can use in tandem with topographical surveys and Geotechnical information to determine the best areas to plant bamboo on their sites for erosion protection. It also indicates the safest building zones. Additionally, the information can be used to determine the efficacy of the bamboo placement as a natural wind barrier during severe weather events. The definition converts topographical information into a NURBS representation of the owner’s property. The user can toggle through various soil types and bamboo species, allowing the algorithm to suggest optimal planting configurations based on angle of repose data and properties of the bamboo species chosen. The counterproduct of this definition is the suggestion of safe building sites. As a test, a hypothetical building was placed in a ‘safe zone’ suggested by the algorithm and tested with and without the protection of different bamboo species. The tests showed a reduction of wind pressures on the building when protected by bamboo.



Zoomed area of the Grasshopper algorithm.

The Grasshopper algorithm showing the input information and process.

Puddle Clay


Graphic outbut of the Grasshopper algorithm, showing where to plant bamboo.


Guadua Angusthifolia Kunth Maximum Height - 30m Diameter Range - 6cm - 22cm Row Spacing - 7m

Broken Rock

Coarse Gravel





Loose Sa

Broken Rock

Coarse Gravel



Loose Sa



The algorithm showing areas of the topgraphy where guadua would be best planted.

Bambusa Lako - Timor Black Broken Rock


Loose Sa




Coarse Gravel

Maximum Height - 15m Diameter Range - 4cm - 9cm Row Spacing - 5m

Broken Rock




Coarse Gravel


The algorithm showing areas of the topgraphy where bambusa lako would be best planted.

Loose Sa


Loose Sand


Loose Sand


Loose Sand


Loose Sand


Puddle Clay


Puddle Clay


Puddle Clay


Puddle Clay



ed House

Assumption - Unprotected Wind Testing on Autodesk Flow Software - Unprotected House in 80m/s Wind.

Assumption - Unprotected House in 80m/s Wind.


Assumption - Guadua Protected Hou

Assumption - Lako Protected Hou Assumption - Guadua Protected House in 80m/s Wind.

Assumption - Lako Protected House in 80m/s Wind.


Exterior render of the bamboo childrens learning space.


Interior render showing the use of the bamboo offcuts to make a screen.

Gabriela Estrada

2016 FALL

Bamboo Childrens’ Centre

This project looked to using the local phylostachys species of bamboo as a way to create spaces which would be child friendly. This was a blend of the students own interests and drive working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and a response to a site visit to the local community where it was obvious the local school children had no facilities to be safe, entertained, and learn. These small units are designed to be easily assembled, and therefore can be disassembled and transported to rural areas where additional opportunities for children are scarce. Using the local bamboo species, the idea was also that those children can also have an appreciate of bamboo instilled into them also, given that it grows locally.




Structural variations of the parabolic roof.

Tamer Remzi Kavlak

2016 FALL

Parabolic Applications

During the building of the residential bamboo prototype, Tamer’s project looked to analyse the applicaitons of the parabolic roof which was being consutrcted on the housing prototype. This investigation sought to work out firstly how to optimise the form and test the water collection potential of such a form, and secondly to take the parabola further and use it as a component to design larger spaces following the same structural system. Karamba, a Finite Element Analysis plug in for Grasshopper, was then used as a way of testing the structure to see which one would perform the best structurally.




Structural variations of the parabolic roof.


Structural variations of the parabolic roof.


Bamboo strips for roofing

Kitchen Unit

Charcoal producing stove

Makinoi Bamboo Panels

Concrete flooring

Makinoi Bamboo Panels


Exploded Axo drawing of the bamboo structure and kitchen units.

Graciela Lopez

2016 FALL

Charcoal Making Kitchens

The main concepts behind this project were to give families a more hygienic communal cooking area. On a site visit to one of the family homes in the local area damages by hurricane Matthew, it was noted that even before the damage of the storm, the outside cooking shelter was not a hygienic place to be cooking. Given the presence, all be it very small, of cholera in Haiti at the time, it was proposed that a small bamboo kitchen could be constructed which could be easily assembled in peoples homes. This would also incorporate charcoal production into the stove with the heat from the kitchen providing a means on making the charcoal. This project aims to promote the use of bamboo, create a safe hygienic area in which to cook and eat, and also produce charcoal from the bamboo to help combat one major cause of deforestation in the local area.



Doria Reyes Cordova lecturing about bamboo to local school children.


3am, the 3rd day past the full moon, harvesting bamboo with students.


Students and tutors on the 2nd November, visiitng Fete Ghede events.

Students visiting houses damaged by hurricane Matthew, on the Constructing Bamboo course.

Doria Reyes Cordova lecturing about bamboo, the plant.


Students visiting houses damaged by hurricane Matthew, on the Constructing Bamboo course.


Students visiting houses damaged by hurricane Matthew, on the Constructing Bamboo course.

Students and tutors collecting the bamboo on the October 2016 course.

The bamboo workshop, Octoer 2016.


Students using architecutal software on the Constructing Bamboo course.


The guadua bamboo columns on the 2016 Constructing Bamboo course.

Nancy Leconte lectuing onsite on the Constructing Bamboo course.

Students and tutors ollecting the bamboo on the constructing bamboo course.


The finished column and roof, on the Constructing Bamboo course.


The final jury of the 2016 Constructing Bamboo course.

Tutors introducing the final jury of the constructing bamboo course.

Students working on the 2016 Constructing bamboo course.


Students working on the 2016 Constructing bamboo course.


Students working on the 2016 Constructing bamboo course.

Students working on the 2016 Constructing bamboo course.

Students working on the 2016 Constructing bamboo course.


CaptionThe deadly cycle of disaster response setting up the next disaster.


November 2016


2016 Fall Course Part II Hurricane Matthew Roofing Retrofits The 4th October this year saw the category 4 Hurricane Matthew sweep through the South West of Haiti tearing at roofs, dumping water to destabilise the landscape, and causing devastation. As the storm battered the shutters and people huddled in doors the radio sets resounded with two dialogs. The first suggested that the metal and wooden roofs that blew off could be substituted by heavy concrete. The second sought to rightly blame the floods, the devastation and the death toll on a broken ecology, bad buildings and deforestation. It is this second argument the fourth instalment of the AA Haiti Visiting School wants to amplify. In addition to the planned building course we will be assisting the local community in repairing their homes after the category four hurricane Matthew hit the south west of Haiti causing structural damage to many homes not in the hurricane area. Therefore, embedded into this course we will be looking at what we and participants can offer in the way of construction training workshops and structural input for effected homes. As a parallel brief we will be asking you to survey and create case studies from the effected homes in order to articulate what needs repaired. Using software knowledge which will be intensively taught you will develop a means of adapting a roofing system to different shapes and dimension of home and use CFD software to test, using this to also devise site specific planting strategies to protect the terrain from landslides and create future wind barriers. The Brief Each participant will be given a ‘kay’ or home which along with the householder will be assessed as a case study to develop. We see this course as a tapestry of bamboo construction knowledge, cutting edge software, and land stewardship techniques, woven together as a powerful long term force to drive sustainable resilient housing, reforestation and define the value of the architect. 387

House number 3, the condition of the roofing, post hurricane Matthew.


House number 2, the condition of the roofing, post hurricane Matthew.

There will be keynote lectures on everything from crop diversification, land stabilisation and the history and culture of Haitian building typologies. Ongoing bamboo construction expertise will expose participants to: -Taxonomy and species types indigenous to Haiti and the region -Cutting, treatments and drying -Tools -Joinery techniques -Site safety and equipment -Working as part of a construction team We will also learn how planting strategies can become symbiotic elements of both an urban or rural home in Haiti. We see these retrofitted homes addressing a critical need on the personal level, but inspiring a wider conversation about the role of lightweight materials and reforestation. Topics Covered -Planting bamboo as a wind barrier and using software to test the results. -Planting bamboo to stabilise the land against heavy rain. -Retrofitting of Structures. -Building a bamboo house as planned. -Parametric design and testing software with their application to building and agriculture for the poorest in society. -Diversified agriculture. The Unique Aspect We will use parametric software and wind testing software not just for the structural design but for creating an argument to drive the planting of earth binding plants. A holistic approach to the projects we are dealing with. Orientation, landscape design will all be taken into account. We will be teaching the software with the students however now there will be the added application of these skills to design resilient replacement roofing for the community houses. There a range of trusses which are easily constructible and these can be scripted on grasshopper in order to adapt the design to the size of the building needed. Using fluid dynamic testing we can test the pressure build ups on the roof to find weak points as well as visualising the argument that bamboo and trees should be planted as integral elements of the house in order to prevent damage from hurricanes. If parametric software’s greatest asset is the ability to save time in the design process, there is no greater application than for these clients who are in most need.


A house exposed to the weather.


A house protected through the planting of bamboo from hurricane winds.

No damage to local economy We are aware that by showing people how to build roofing we could be giving skills away for free to members of the community, whilst other members make a livelihood from doing exactly those techniques. So therefore we want to make sure that we train the local craftsmen and roof builders along the way. Participants will be working with local community members who will be covered by an appropriate daily salary which will allow their attendance as they may not be able to afford to leave their jobs to attended. The Preconception we are trying to Reverse In much of the developing world materials such as timber and bamboo are especially perceived as having connotations of poverty and representing the rural life in which much of the developing world’s urban populations have escaped from, in only one generation. These are then substituted for concrete and steel rebar in an effort to promote a ‘modern’ aesthetic however with low rates of literacy and skilled engineering input, these buildings are often very precariously engineered, climatically intolerable, incompetently built, and extremely carbon intensive. Not to mention that in areas of hurricane and seismic vulnerability, these structures are at best totally inadequate and at worst deadly. This concrete 21st Century developing world vernacular does not just burden a family budget on a macro level, but often the materials must be imported from more developed economies maintaining a postcolonial strangle hold on an international level.


House number 3, the condition of the roofing, post hurricane Matthew.


House number 3, the condition of the roofing, post hurricane Matthew.

House number 4, the condition of the roofing, post hurricane Matthew.

Building roof trusses.


Kay 4 2.16m x 8 2.05m x 9 2.30m x 9 3.55m 3.65m 6 poles broken to strips (130m) 1.20m x 2 Nails x 162

0.5inch Screws x 180

2.5 inch x 180

Using Grasshopper to efficiently measureConcrete and test roof material boltsdesigns x 10 balancing available Concrete Screws x 20 quantities and structural necessity.

Concrete Bolt 2.16 m

Bolt or Screws Wood Makinoi Bamboo Concrete/ Cement Block


Retrofitting design for House 4.

Metallic Cover


Bamboo Trusses

Concrete Structure

2.0 m 6.80 m 3.87 m Roofing system to add to the existing strucutre, for House 4.


The reduced pressure build up design for the truss for Houses 1-3.


Proposed, wind reducing section.

Roof variations.


Aerodynamic roof design for House 3.


Aerodynamic roof design for House 2.

Roof design for House 4.


Students working on the 2016 Construction bamboo course.


Using Rhinoceros 3D in order to efficient model and measure key elements in the design.

Walking to the local village with the roofing trusses.

Director John Naylor, assisting in surveying House number 4.


Local residents carrying the roof pieces back to their village.


Completed roofing, with additional bamboo rafters.

The AA Haiti VS team taking measurements.

The homeowner working with the team from the AA Haiti Visiting School.


Retrofitting local houses.


Nails are used to attach metal roof, however we are replacing these bad quality nails, with screws.

Retrofitting local houses.

Retrofitting local houses.


Students working on the 2016 Construction bamboo course, building bamboo trusses for the local community.


Students working on the 2016 Construction bamboo course, building bamboo trusses for the local community.

Students and tutors working on the 2016 Construction bamboo course, building bamboo trusses for the local community.


République d’Haïti




We will be using this project as a way of integrating bamboo into the Haitian building codes, using the ASCE USA code as a reference for design standards.


This is the project we will be constructing.

2017-2018 Prototype Certifying a Bamboo Structure in the City Once we have built a small prototype in 2016, we will use the team that has been trained as a source of labour to build the second larger prototype in Port au Prince. This design has been selected by UCLBP to be the prototype of the first full scale bamboo ‘core house’. We will be spending November 2016 - February 2017 as a time to get structural input and complete all the necessary documents in order to formally build a house on government land in Port au Prince. We will be putting in a formal planning application which if successful will the first bamboo building to be approved for planning in Port au Prince and therefore set a huge precedent which other using bamboo can follow. The outcome of the building will not just be a prototype that can be used, but a design that can be replciated and the Haitian Building Code (CNBH) can be ammended to use bamboo. This is a long legacy with huge consequences for those wanting to build lightweight structures. We will be using docuemtns such as the ACSE code form the USA in order to build to standards suitable for Haiti’s hurricane winds.



Phase q sees the foundations and an introduction for local workers take place.

Phase 1 Foundations and Visitor Centre The first phase of the building of the prototype would take place in early 2017. This would happen in two parts. Firstly we would build the concrete flooring and this would include the installation of electricity and water facilities. At the same time the steel rebar to take the bamboo structure would be embedded in this concrete flooring. At the same time we would construct a storage space on-site out of bamboo. This would be very important as in urban areas the risk of theft can be quite high and therefore we would want to have a storage area locker. Furthermore this building would be an opportunity to build a simple but iconic bamboo structure which can introduce the community to bamboo and as well as being a storage space for material, this can also act as a fabrication area of the later stages and also a visitor centre to introduce the community to the project.


The initial bamboo strucutre.


Addition of flooring.

Phase 2 The Bamboo Structure

The second phase would see an intensive construction workshop on-site. This would be a 2 week period in which the bamboo structure would be installed, including the roof structure. This would be an opportunity to take the team trained in the October 2016 workshop, and use this team to train the builders and carpenters working in the local area where this new prototype will be built.

Constructionof the bamboo roof.


Comleted initial ‘core’ house.


Finsihed core house for UCLBP..

Phase 3 Completed Prototype

The final stage will see the construction of the walls, the installation of the internal features. Many different government ministries and will be invited in order to certify the project. Once completed and certified, the building has the opportunity to be a catalyst to allow others to either copy the open source design, using the government scheme of providing an initial grant to build the core in order to complete their house. This also allows others who wish to use bamboo to follow the building codes and receive planning permission for their bamboo structure in the Haitian Capital.


Students enjoying a bonfirm on the 2014 course.


Students visiting downtown Port au prince on the 2914 course.

Student Life

Students on the AA Haiti Visiting School come from all over Haiti and the world. In this extremely intense studio environment students work in groups of three for the duration of the course. The social and historic context of the location in which students are working is extremely important to be embedded into the students and therefore a series of cultural activities are arranged. In 2014 this took the form of a tour into the downtown of Port of Prince to see some of the sites which still lay in ruins as well as those which had been rebuilt. This gave a sense of the rebuilding effort as well as a chance to hear Haiti’s history surrounded by her historic landmarks. In 2015 we all went to Croix des Bouquets to see Haiti’s first bamboo structure, as well as visiting the metal workshops there. During both years, and which has become quite the AA Haiti Visiting School tradition, we have visited the famous Oloffson Hotel. This building has had prominent roles in literature such as Graham Greene’s, ‘The Comedians’ and we spend our middle Thursday night tasting and listening to what Haiti has to offer, whilst dancing the night away to resident Vodou Roots band RAM.


Schnight-dy Azilien receviing tnhe award in 2015.


Elycee Morancy, presentig at the final jury in 2016.

Gardiner and Theobald Award

The Gardiner and Theobald Award for Determination is an award given to an enrolled local student and kindly sponsored by the UK based construction and property consultancy firm, Gardiner and Theobald LLP. The award is decided by vote of the tutors, and presented to a student who has shown dedication, continued enthusiasm for the course, and the wider agenda. The award for the AA Haiti Visiting School 2015 was Awarded to Schnight-dy Azilien. For the breadth of the task set by her group, her enthusiasm, hard work and energy in pushing this agenda. In 2016 the award was given to Elyse Morancy for his effort, energy and work on the project Banbouvil.


All tutors on the AA Haiti Visiting School represent the Architectural Association School of Architecture, which as an independent School of Architecture is bound by certain principals to maintain its status as a charity in England. The Architectural Association, Inc. is a Registered Charity Incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No.171402. The Association’s principal activity is the operation of a school of architecture and a learned society. The primary object of the Association, as stated in its Memorandum of Association is ‘for the public benefit to promote and afford facilities for the study of Architecture ...’


AA Bamboo Lab Haiti 2012-2016  

4 years of work of the AA Bamboo Lab Haiti

AA Bamboo Lab Haiti 2012-2016  

4 years of work of the AA Bamboo Lab Haiti