On June 17th, we were excited to be part of the inauguration ceremony of the Boisrond Tonnere School that we have designed in Haiti.
Boisrond Tonnere is a primary school that educates children from low income backgrounds. The school is located in Petionville, Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. During the devastating 2010 earthquake most of the city was destroyed, including a large part of the School.
Article 25 were appointed by Outreach International to design a new earthquake resistant classroom building 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.
The architectural plans for the School have been designed with the main features being the school building, hall and courtyard with associated kitchen and toilet facilities. In anticipation of water shortages, Max Fordham and Article 25 have also designed a rainwater collection tank and an underground water cistern that collect and store rainwater during Petionville’s wet seasons.
Several challenges arose throughout the construction phase, including shortage of materials and unavailability of certain products which were no longer available in the country.
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, Buro Happold to ensure that the simplest and most economical earthquake-resistant structures could be built.
The school year begins in September 2018, where it will welcome and provide a safe, well designed educational space for over 200 students.