Boisrond Tonnerre School, Pétionville, Haiti
One of our largest completed developing countries group projects, the Boisrond Tonnerre School is a primary school in Pétionville, a suburb in Haiti's capital Port au Prince, that educates children from low-income backgrounds. The new building replaces and improves the original school that was destroyed in the 2010 earthquakes.
The school features six earthquake-resistant classrooms, as well as a new community hall, kitchen, toilets and outdoor play areas. All spaces are naturally ventilated and designed to remain cool during Haiti’s tropical summers.
Working alongside US-based charity Outreach International, Article 25 Architects, Buro Happold, several local stakeholder groups and later on MSADA, a US and Haitian Architect, we provided lighting design, passive cooling, water supplies, sanitation, and electrical distribution for this pro-bono project.
Challenges included designing electrical systems to US-specific methods and regulations (which is the system used in Haiti), and overcoming communication barriers with project partners located more than 4000 miles away. Anticipating water shortages, the issue of providing sufficient potable water for the school community was tackled by designing a rainwater collection tank and an underground water cistern that collect and store rainwater during the wet season.
In the event of another earthquake, the school should remain standing, enabling students to return to a sense of normality soon after a natural disaster.