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 in Visibility (1)


Eben-Ezer Medical Clinic, Ft. Liberte Haiti

            Three main focal points of the project include passive ventilation, the patient-family dynamic, and visibility and wayfinding. In our research we found that the healthcare experience in Haiti is often highly crowded and chaotic. Large crowds of people gather all day to wait to be seen by a doctor. This level of social desperation made an impression on our group. Our design eases this chaos by providing spaces that are well ventilated, that include room for family members, and that are easy to navigate. There are three main wings of the design. The front volume of space houses entry and exit sequences with housing lying above. The angled wing houses the path of the common care patient. Patient exam rooms fill the wing and its directionality points the patients in the direction of entry and exit. The patient rooms have double circulation that leads to a secondary greenspace. This greenspace houses outdoor extensions of the rooms so that the doctor and patient can go out into the direct sunlight to make a tough diagnosis but still maintain privacy to the space. The rooms remain private because clerestory windows face the main courtyard while larger CMU block windows face the private secondary space. The west wing houses space for patients who need additional care such as observation, isolation and surgery.

            These wings are filled with volumes that are pulled apart and isolated from one another such that wind can pass through the site with ease. The spaces are arranged around a central courtyard to increase visibility so that patients have a much more thorough and obvious understanding of what goes on around the site and where they need to be (or not be) at all times. The east wing swings open to increase visibility to the site and to extend the view of the skyline. This way the space will not feel daunting and compressed. Instead it is open and inviting. In the center of the courtyard are four blocks of concrete seatwall with trees in the center to provide shade and activate the space for those who are waiting.

            The patient-family dynamic is approached by providing instead of negating space for the family members to wait. It is a cultural norm for the families to all come together and to want to know what is going on with the doctor and the patient. Instead of pushing these people out, the design gives heed to social and cultural trends and provides comforting space for these individuals. This cuts down on chaotic behaviors from the patients and the family members and allows for a more comfortable experience.