Why are we doing this?
The Boisrond Tonnere is a primary school that educates children from low income backgrounds. The school is located in Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince. During the devastating 2010 earthquake most of the city was destroyed, including a large part of the Boisrond Tonnere School.
Article 25 have used our architectural expertise to design a new earthquake resistant classroom as well as a new community space. In the event of another earthquake, the school will remain standing, reducing human fatalities and enabling students to return to a sense of normality soon after a natural disaster.
Building work with the input of local construction workers will be completed by later this year. When completed the school will provide a safe, well designed educational space for over 200 students.
This project is made possible thanks to our partners from:
The progress so far
The architectural plans for the Boisrond Tonnere School have been finalised, with the main features being the school building, hall and courtyard. Several functional challenges have arisen, including the issue of providing sufficient potable water for the school community. This is problematic as the school is only connected to the municipal water supply once a week for two hours, providing 750 litres of water per week which is barely anything to sustain a projected consumption of 4000 litres per day. Alternative measures such as water truck services are too expensive, while boreholes and water wells are not cost-effective.
In anticipation of water shortages, Max Fordham and Article 25 have designed a rainwater collection tank and an underground water cistern that collect and store rainwater during Petionville’s wet seasons.
Creating outdoor learning spaces
A niche outdoor learning space was incorporated into the architectural plans, with the aim of creating an intimate outdoor gathering and socializing area. Built-in benches, a timber pergola for shade and blackboards allows for this corner to be used for teaching and learning.
Designing earthquake resilience
One of the biggest design considerations for the Boisrond Tonnere School was its earthquake resilience. To this end, several design modifications were incorporated into the basic reinforced concrete frame of buildings:
1. Using simple, symmetrical, and low-rise forms which perform better during earth tremors,
2. Classrooms form seismically strong small boxes,
3. All structural elements are tied together to avoid dislocation during an earthquake, including pad foundations which are tied together using ground beams,
4. Balconies are cantilevered rather than supported on columns so that the structure is unified and integrated,
5. Openings are uniformly distributed in elevation,
6. Seismic gaps are provided between irregular shapes
These design considerations were made in close collaboration with our structural engineering partners to ensure that the simplest and most economical earthquake-resistant structures could be built.