2011 haiti_utk publication

One to Another

A Downloadable Publication from the 2011 Haiti UTK Studio


WBIR Report of the Haiti Studio

Introduction haiti_utk

Welcome to the Haiti UTK site! The work on these pages reflects student engagement in design for both a school and housing for the community of Fonds des Bloncs, Haiti in collaboration with the Haiti Christian Development Fund. The project was initiated in the early fall of 2010 and subsequently a class of 19 students, in the spring of 2011, was given the responsibility of deisgning a secondary school. The school is under constuction. A new group of students is now hard at work developing new housing in Fonds des Blancs. The work of these students can be seen in the pages of this blog. Students of the class will be traveling to Haiti Februay 2-6 to collect addiional data. It is anticipated that this second phase of the project will be completed in late April with construction starting summer 2012. The work of the students is being guided by three primary faculty, John McRae, David Matthews, and Chris King, a local practictioner. The students during their exploration will engage a wide range of issues including context, culture, resources, climate and other outside factors not common to their expereince. 

Students: Cassidy Barnett, Aaron Brown, Sarah Heimermann, Mitzi Coker, Emily Corgan, Ben Cross, Peter Duke, Emily Fike, Sam Funari, Lauren Heile, Kendra McHaney, Lauren Metts, Morgan Oiler, Bernice Paez, Forrest Reynolds, Emily Ryan, James Sawyer, Zachary Smith, Robert Thew, Cory Wikerson Faculty: John McRae, Chris King, David Matthews

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Special Thanks!

The Haiti Studio for spring 2012 is being supported by HaitiServe foundation based in Knoxville Tennessee, that is focused on outreach and engagement in improving conditions in Haiti. 

Entries by Stephen Sawyer (3)


Haitian Clinic 

Design for the expansion of the Eben-Ezer Medical Clinic, Fort Liberte, Haiti



The problems associated with constructing a viable clinic in an impoverished nation such as Haiti are many.  With problems ranging from malnutrition, lack of medical supplies, poverty, illiteracy, and natural disasters this countries people are destined to a hard life and an early death.  To mediate the severity of this crisis in Haiti I concentrated on the positives of the natural environment.  The early explorations into the site lead to the development of a module that was orientated to capture both the wind and the light.  This design gave way to the final design scheme which oriented the visitors to the site by positioning them within the center.  This approach to orientation was essential to locals due to their inability to read and their unfamiliarity with the steps involved with receiving medical care. 

                The program that was associated with the project was the inclusion of six exam rooms.  These rooms were to allow plenty of ventilation and limited occupancy through their small size.  Two rooms for empower and advance were provided these would serve as bases of operation for the outreach from the clinic.  A six space observation area was designed to isolate a severely contagious person and to provide viewing areas of patient reactions to medical treatment.  Other programmatic elements included a check-in, dormitory, physician’s residence, and office space.  The major element of incorporated into the existing building was the combination of a lab/ pharmacy area.  This was located in the renovated ground floor and was to serve as a secure and easily accessible location from the central waiting area. Due to the pay as you go approach to health care that is associated with this clinic it thus became very important to limit areas where monies would be collected and stored. 



 To provide for the educational component to the project vegetable gardens, herb gardens, and orchards were provided to teach the local peoples of the importance of proper nutrition and its ability to prevent many of the most common ailments like different forms of skin disease.  Due to the rise of cholera following the earthquake of 2010 the site would also host composting toilets to educate the local populace on the importance of waste disposal.  There would also be a cistern buried on the site with a G E purification device to provide potable water for drinking and bathing.       





Foundry Response

The criticism that I received at the foundry has helped me to redesign the flow of people through the sight and the availability of a possible roof garden to those who are visiting.  To design the section of the sight will require more research into components of a roof garden.


The Yellow circulation zone in the plan above will be expanded to promote access to the top of the building and to provide more sheltered areas to access services.  The limited methods of construction might lead to more required use of conventional building materials.

The zoning across the site will require that a public courtyard, a private courtyard and an emergency/service entrance.  These spaces should function independently from each other.

The planning for the different exam rooms will change to provide enough depth for the remodeling of these spaces as the needs and services change over time.  The eventual availability of surgery in such places will enable the E&A to evolve.








Privacy Tent for Haiti

Vetiver Plant Provides Breathable Wall For Comfort

This deployable unit was to be used to secure medicine and food prior to distribution.  The materials this tent was to be made from would include locally sourced bamboo and vetiver plants.  Jobs could then be created in cultivation and processing of these sustainable raw materials into fabric and the proper dimensions.  Paint would have would have provided direction with matching colors serving as an international language.  Metal corners fabricated in a more industrialised country would provide rigidity to winds and decrease the time required to assemble the structure.  The deployment of this structure would primarily be in response to natural disasters where food and light medical attention are critically needed.   Regular usage of this package could benefit those living in more isolated area's where aid is more scarce.  These units are meant to be staffed by the people of Haiti allowing them to provide for themselves and provide for their own relief.   This would be an empowering element to the local people and promote education through increased communication.


Basic Instruction on Assembly 

During the development of this project I realized that sustainable aid to Haiti can best be accomplished by educating and empowering the local people.  Promoting basic ideas of sanitation and reinforcing those ideas with proper leadership could do much for the people of Haiti. Due to the actions of irresponsible aid workers new and deadly viruses have been introduced to Haiti.  If local peoples had been given an education on the basic kinds of care that can be sustainable provided in Haiti and then dispatched to carry out that care new foreign disease might not be introduced.

Key elements of a hospital design should include education, local material to stimulate the economy, and geographic awareness to provide patients with comfort.