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. 

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Entries in roommate (2)


Teacher Roommate House: Final Proposal


  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full bathrooms
  • 2043 sq. ft. (nominal)
  • 1820 sq. ft. (habitable)

Design Goals:

  • Simple symmetrical plan
  • Large shared living space that opens to the outside
  • Use materials found or produced locally in Haiti
  • Passive ventilation for all rooms
  • Apartment layout

The final design of the Teacher Roommate House is designed to demand interaction.  The occupants for this house are envisioned as being teachers that work at the (School) up the road.

The layout of the floor plan mimics a dormitory style plan where the bedrooms surround a large open living space.  Included in this living space are the kitchen, dining and gathering spaces. Wicker panels built into the exterior walls of the living space open up to covered porches giving the space a public feel. Oftentimes in Haiti, visitors are only invited onto the porch and not into the houses.


Each end of the house is a two-bedroom module able to sleep up to four people. Bathrooms and storage spaces serve as buffer areas between the two bedrooms and the bathrooms are extruded to allow.  Vent block windows in all the rooms allow cross ventilation of all spaces.

The roofing design on the house gives hierarchy to the spaces.  The largest hip roof is over the primary living space, while smaller hip roofs are over the secondary bedroom spaces.  A flat roof covers the tertiary restroom and circulation spaces.

 The exterior design of the house has a rhythm to it.  The bedrooms and living space each have exterior walls that extend up past the ceiling line of the house.  Along the exterior there is a horizontal shading plane that helps with sun shading on the exterior of the house.  Pilasters along the exterior walls assist in holding up the cantilevered roof as well as add a visual sense of rhythm.


Lastly, the house was designed to be a representation of its occupants.   Its formal appearance shows strength with a hint of monumentality.  This aspect was included in the design to give importance to the teachers and make them important in society.


Teacher Roommate Housing Design Proposal

When designing the roommate house, our team thought about how the layout of the house will affect the interaction among the roommates.  The rooms of the house are separated by the living space with a porch that extends out the front of the space.  We wanted to create a house plane that resembles the layout of an apartment.  With two rooms set to each side of the house, sharing a common bathroom and storage area.  The house includes a large covered porch that will face the pedestrian walkway through the center of the development.  


The kitchen is placed at the front of the house next to the porch, so that you can cook and look outside the front of the house to say hello to anyone walking by.  Each room includes many vent block windows to allow natural ventilation and the possibility of cross ventilation.  Additionally, the bathrooms are pulled from the main form to allow a natural breeze to flow through the bathroom.