Earthquakes Dont Kill; Buildings Do: REBUILD HAITI

by Architecture for Humanity

Grand-Ravine Haitifeatures |updatesmilestones |calendar |other news |



Concern Worldwide, with the support of the European Union, has partnered with Architecture for Humanity Haiti on a very ambitious neighborhood upgrading project. Architecture for Humanity will engage the community of Grand-Ravine in a participatory planning process to implement development strategies, reconstruction and urban planning in this challenging community.  The residents of this self-governed slum are vulnerable to inclement weather, high crime rates and lack of proper infrastructure. Haiti has entered its rainy season which makes life in Grand-Ravine very difficult. Constant flooding of the ravine [which in normal time serves as the main thoroughfare connecting the various neighborhoods] limits accessibility of the residents.  For the next 10 months, our team will be meeting with the community leaders to devise and implement a plan that will help reinforce the fabric of the community and help the residents voice and prioritize their collective needs.  



Rendering of CIM Sanitary Block

Sustainable Sanitary Blocks at College CIM-An Ecological Choice
The final design for the new Toilet block was presented to the school Director and Teachers in June.  The new building will include 16 toilet stalls, and integrate an independent and sustainable sanitation system.

Contracts are signed    with the school director and the construction firm Design Action

College Mixte Le bon Berger Montrouis phase 2

On June 5th, the school principal, Mr. D'Or signed the contract for the construction works with Mr. Duverna  from the construction firm Design Action. The second phase will be completed by August 31, 2013 just in time to welcome the students on September 2nd 2013. Design Action started demolition work on June 3rd, 2013. The firm who successfully built the first phase building was selected after a competitive bid process.

Christian Beaulieu conducting market surveys on Ile a Vache

Participatory Community Development on Ile a Vache 

In collaboration with the Community, Architecture for Humanity has identified key development sectors such as education, community cohesion and health, in which we will focus our efforts towards implementing quick win projects.  These projects are taking the form of sustainable sanitation systems, clean water strategies and improved access.    


June 4, 2013

We welcomed Architecture Students from FAARM/Bowling Green State University. They made a stop at our office to learn a bit from our Senior Architect Fleur Messer about rebuilding in the Haitian context. The students spent 3 weeks in Haiti visiting different sites and projects.

June 14, 2013

PechaKucha was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. The Haiti office held its first Pechakucha on Friday June 14th, 2013 at our regular open office meeting. Five members of our staff took part in showcasing their slides according to the rules of the game: 20 pictures /20 seconds per slide. 

Brett Ferguson, our Architect on Ecole Republique d’Argentine  presented on Vancouver. Sven Kalim, Architect on the CIM School, showcased his pictures from China and Christian Beaulieu, Architect and urban planner working on Ile a Vache, explored his new passion for agriculture. Rickie Siegel and Nazanin Merehgan, Urban Planners presented on innovative slum upgrading and redevelopment examples from Latin America: Medellín, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, and Caracas. This first event was well received by the audience of architects and friends and we plan to continue this initiative. We will send out a call for entry at our next event. 

June 20-22, 2013

Architecture for Humanity Co-founder Cameron Sinclair was one of the keynote speakers at the national American Institute for Architects (AIA) convention held in Denver Colorado. He spoke long about our projects in Haiti in front of 16,000 architects. Eric Cesal featured Haiti on a panel called “Architecture for Humanity and Public Architecture: Leaders in the Social Impact Design Movement" at the AIA Convention.

July 3, 2013

Architecture for Humanity, Catholic Relief Services and Concern will participate in the Kick-off Partner’s meeting for the Community Development of Grand-Ravine

July 12, 2013

Architecture for Humanity Haiti monthly Meet and Greet. We welcome Adriana Navaro Sertich from UNOPS 16/6 projects. Adriana will explore the concept of FAVELA CHIC--a comparative analysis on current slum upgrading strategies


  • The Haiti Rebuilding center bids farewell to Brett Ferguson and Stephane Charles. We wish them well in their future endeavors.  We welcome Raphael Sabbat to the IT department.
  •  The planning team was invited by the Kellogg foundation to present at the CIAT (Comité Interministériel d’Aménagement du Territoire) on the community participatory process in Ile a Vache. It was a great platform to learn about the different projects funded by the Foundation in Haiti. 


Project - Phase - %Complete  

College C.I.M CA 30%
Clinique Mme JOA
CA 100%
College Mixte Le Bon Berger(Phase 2) CA 5%
Ecole Elie Dubois (Phase 2)
CDs 100%
Ile a Vache Community Development Diagnostic 60%
Grand-Ravine, Martissant Contract Signed Mod Ayiti Workshop CA 20%
Ecole Nationale Republique d'Argentine
CA 33%
Ecole Bon Berger, Pele
B+N 50%
Children's Academy
CA 100%

Construction on the Phase One classroom building continues at "College Coeur Immacule de Marie" the all-girls school in Bois Verna, a historic neighborhood of Port au Prince. The design and construction team plans to lead a tour of the building site with the students and teachers who have been very curious about what is going on behind the construction fence. We will show them the massive rebar work going inside the concrete. The foundation is almost completed. This project alone stimulated the recovery of about 25 construction jobs. See below...

February News

The clear bleu waters of Ile A Vache. The small virgin Island on the south peninsula of Haiti, is one of Haiti's most popular tourist sites. While the GOH has drafted of a Preliminary Master Plan to develop a nature-based tourism better known as Eco tourism, we are conducting a participatory community action plan with a grant from WK Kellogg Foundation.  We aim to weave healthy self-reliant communities where children can have better opportunities for success.


Project Status Report
Haiti School Initiative
École Baptiste Bon Berger, Pele - Ph.1  Complete CA, Ph.2 100% CD
École Elie Dubois - Ph.1A 95%CA- Ph.1B CompleteCA , Ph.1C 75% CD Ph.2 85% CD
College Coeur Immacule de Marie (CIM) - Ph.1 20% CA, CD 70%  Ph 2 DD 70%, CD 10% 
École Argentine -  Ph.1 95%CA, Ph.2 25% SD
Haiti Partners Children's Academy (BAR Architects) - Ph.1  95% CA
Haiti Design Consultancy
Simon Pele: Community Action Plan -Preliminary Master Plan 95%  
Mme Joa Clinic - CA 98%
Ile A Vache: Community Development Plan- Ph.1 100% Ph2. (Geospacial date and Mapping) 90%
CA Construction Administration; CD Construction Documents; DD Design Development; SD Schematic Design; PD Pre-Design - About the Phases

Bati Byen: Rebuilding in Haiti 2012 Year in Review

“Where would we be without you!?! The expertise you've provided and the partners you've connected us to have fueled our vision.”
- John Engle, Co-Director, Haiti Partners

“I admire the participatory and collaborative method of Architecture for Humanity. It’s an approach that has impressed a lot of people. We have faith that the project will come off properly.”
- Will Civil, member of Komite Humanitaire de Villa Rosa and resident of Morne Rosa

"Among our students, some may become lawyers, other doctors or architects to help this country, and the first step is this school."
- Wilson d'Or, Headmaster, Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger, Montrouis

Our third annual update on our long-term post disaster work in Haiti finds the Rebuilding Center continuing its holistic strategy to rebuild buildings, neighborhoods, industries and economies. We would like take a moment today and bring our supporters and fans up to speed on our progress, and to thank them for their continued support and enthusiasm for our work. Thank you.

In 2012 we continued our well-regarded work in construction outreach, training and design services, have built exciting partnerships with local Haitian banks to support business loan programs, and have established a strong community-based planning platform for the grassroots development and strengthening of neighborhoods. The Center was able to expand the scope of its services by launching three autonomous studios: Architecture and Construction; Planning; and Economic Development. This arrangement allows for more specialized pursuit of a broader range of projects while improving collaboration within the Rebuilding Center. See below for more details on each of these studios.

The Rebuilding Center also continues to transition to Haitian ownership and operation. We have brought all administration and management roles in-house, most of which being performed by Haitian nationals. This transition is crucial to the success of the Center as a Haitian effort to perpetuate good construction and collaboration years into the future.

Our Impact

The impact metrics below reflect our work as of January 12, 2013:

6.3 million Dollars in construction funding leveraged by the Rebuilding Center in 2012 alone
48,000 Beneficiaries from clinics built in 2012
2100 Students gaining access to safe & delightful classrooms last year
400 Haitian jobs created or recovered in 2012
Hundreds of design and construction professionals participating in our monthly Meet n Greet open house and Haitian lecture series
46 Participants of 10 professional seminars to date
36 Community design workshops and charrettes held to date, with an average of 25 people attending each charrette
32 Architects, engineers and support staff at the Rebuilding Center - including 4 long-term professional volunteers and 22 Haitian staffers
9 School projects - 3 fully complete, 4 completed phase one or partially open, 2 in construction
9 Projects completed in 2012, with 7 in design and construction, and still others in initial stages of development

Video Highlights

Video: Artists for Haiti
Architecture for Humanity:
Haiti Rebuilding Center

Artists for Haiti & Ciné Institute

Video: Students Rebuild
A Story of Youth in Action
Students Rebuild

Video: Frederic King
Haiti Redux (Trailer)
Frederic King

2012 Milestones

Pathway improvements in Saint Marie





In an effort to address more systemic challenges, the Rebuilding Center formalized a Planning Studio and team to lead outreach and mapping, workshops and charrettes, and partnerships that empower neighborhood residents to rebuild their communities.

Haiti Rural Mapping Initiative
With a grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation, Architecture for Humanity has completed the physical mapping of 11 communes across southern and central Haiti. This represents 25% of the country and for many towns and villages is the first time these areas have been mapped. All maps were incorporated into the online open source platform and integrated into the national geospatial database. Design Fellow and project manager Olivia Stinson explains how it all got done.

Villa Rosa and Sainte Marie
The Rebuilding Center completed the Community Action Plan for this primarily informal Port-au-Prince neighborhood in collaboration with Cordaid, UN Habitat and many other partners. This included extensive reconstruction of physical infrastructure, public spaces and housing. Rebuilding Center volunteer Nazanin Mehregan discusses the community mapping and workshop process that informs community plans.

Community led sports court     construction in Villa Rosa 





Design & Construction

Construction Program
The big success story of the year has been the in-house construction work carried out by our Construction Management Team. This work builds on the construction outreach program whereby our engineers have been trained in design and construction and are now acting as small scale contractors on a variety of on-budget, on-schedule, autonomous projects including the Elie Dubois Kitchen and Villa Rosa's Infrastructure and Basketball Court.

In March 2010 we set out to design and build 10 schools on a phased basis. While we still do not have all the funding required, 3 are now fully complete, phase 1 at 3 more is now complete and ongoing on the other schools, and phase 2 is underway on 6 schools. The program is growing steadily and the unique character of each school is being complemented by a piece of commissioned civic art.

Three primary care facilities were completed in 2012. These clinics provide essential daily care to thousands of people, particularly in rural areas.

Property Law Working Group
The Rebuilding Center is participating in an interdisciplinary working group assessing, clarifying and proposing reforms to Haiti's property law system, widely viewed as an obstruction to permanent reconstruction around the country. The final report of the first year's research is expected in early 2013. Planning Design Fellow Rickie Siegel explains the complex factors that the Group is addressing. We will post the report as soon as it is available on the Rebuilding Center update page.

A     woodworking shop on Route de Delmas





Economic Development

Much progress has been made this year on a small and medium enterprise (SME) loan program - a first for Haitian banks financing business reconstruction. At this writing, 12 loans are going through due diligence at four banks, and a fifth local bank has expressed interest in the program.

Discussions relating to housing microfinance loans have been ongoing with local and international institutions.

Project Overview

For a full list of our active (15) and completed (19) projects, please visit the Haiti Rebuilding Center Project Hub Page.

At long last.... We are eager to share with you that the classroom building of phase 1 of Ecole Baptiste Bon Berger, Pele, Haiti is substantially complete. The school site is located in Simon Pele, on the outskirts Citi Soleil in Haiti, which has bad reputation for violence and high concentration of underpriviledged children. This project location was a challlenge however, we've defeated the odds. (see below)


Project Status Report

Haiti School Initiative

École Baptiste Bon Berger, Pele - Ph.1  100% CA
École Elie Dubois - Ph.1A 90%CA- Ph.1B 100%CD , Ph.1C 15% DD Ph.2 60% CD
College Coeur Immacule de Marie (CIM) - Ph.1 2% CA,  Ph 2 25%SD, Ph.3 10% SD
École Argentine -  Ph.1 2%CA, Ph.2 10% SD
Haiti Partners Children's Academy (BAR Architects) - Ph.1  65% CA

Haiti Design Consultancy

Santo Community Development Plan - Ph.4 CD 100% Mme Joa Clinic - CA 98%
Villa Rosa and Saint Marie Community Action Plan  Ph.3 & Ph.4 98% Community Infrastructure CA 100%


CA Construction Administration; CD Construction Documents; DD Design Development; SD Schematic Design; PD Pre-Design - About the Phases


Healing and Education: through the arts

Healing and Education through the Arts. Architecture for Humanity has implemented a civic art program featuring the work of local Haitian artisans. The earthquake had as devastating an impact on the culture of Haiti as it did on its buildings, streets and lives. There is now the risk that as Haiti rebuilds that much of her culture will be forgotten as art and artists are foregone in favor of more utilitarian responses. We believe that Haiti needs the restorative effects that a civic arts program could bring. See below


Project Status Report

Haiti School Initiative
École Baptiste Bon Berger, Pele - Ph.1 CA 85%
École Elie Dubois - Ph.1 CA 95% - Ph.2 CD 80% Ph.3 10%
College Coeur Immacule de Marie (CIM) - SD 35%
École Argentine - SD 15%
Haiti Partners Children's Academy (BAR Architects) - Ph.1 CA 10%

Haiti Design Consultancy
Santo Community Development Plan - Ph.4 CD 70%
Mme Joa Clinic - CA 90%
Villa Rosa and Saint Marie Community Action Plan  Ph.3 & Ph.4 90% Community Infrastructure CA 90%

CA Construction Administration; CD Construction Documents; DD Design Development; SD Schematic Design; PD Pre-Design -About the Phases



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Organization Information

Architecture for Humanity

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Architecture for Humanity
Project Leader:
Cameron Sinclair
Co-Founder and Executive Director
San Francisco, CA United States

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