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CORAL REEF, MATRIX AND PLUG-IN FOR 1000 PASSIVE HOUSES
PORT-AU-PRINCE 2011
HAITI
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PROGRAM : "Construction of 1000 prefabricated passive houses"
CLIENT : Municipality of Port-au-Prince
LOCATION : Port-au-Prince, Haiti
PERSPECTIVES : Benoit Patterlini
STATUS : In progress
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CORAL REEF, MATRIX AND PLUG-IN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF 1000 PREFABRICATED PASSIVE HOUSES

Called The Pearl of West Indies, Haiti was during a long time the most visited country of the Greater Antilles representing the occidental third of Hispaniola Island. Devastated in 2010 by an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the country has now to be rebuilt from new innovative architectural and town-planning concepts.

The Coral Reef project plans a matrix to build a three dimensional and energy self-sufficient village from one and only standardised and prefabricated module in order to rehouse the refugees from such humanitarian catastrophes. This basic module is simply made of two passive houses (with metallic structure and tropical wood facades) interlocked in duplex around a transversal horizontal circulation linking every unit.

Inspired from a Coral reef with fluid and organic shapes, the overall project presents itself as a great living structure made of two waves dedicated to accommodate more than one thousand Haitian families. These two inhabited waves undulate along the water on an artificial pier built on seismic piles in the Caribbean Sea. From concave curves to convex curves, the housing modules are aligned and piled up by successive stratums such as a great origami. Between the two inhabited waves is created a sumptuous interior canyon in pixels with terraces and cascades of food gardens.

Actually, the laying-out in staggered rows of the plane-parallel base modules enables to superimpose the passive houses in cantilever and to multiply the vision axes towards an endless number of perspectives. Each roof of each module becomes then an organic suspended garden enabling to each Creole family to cultivate its own food and to use themselves their own wastage as compost.

This canyon is a true tropical ecosystem for the local fauna and the flora. Ode to the urban biodiversity, it is also the central axis of the communitarian life of this futuristic village and respectful of its environment. Between the waves of these ecological housing, the sinuous lines of the anti-seismic basement (absorbing the vibrations in case of earthquake) integrate the public functions of the social life. Aquicultural farms welcome pisciculture pools whereas the purification plant lagoons recycle the used waters before rejecting them in the sea.

The Master Plan can evolve and extends itself according to the plug-in principle. The urban framework of this ecological village remains thus undetermined, flexible and develops itself continuously according to the time and the space. New extension modules, also prefabricated in factory and brought by cargo will be actually added such as a giant meccano set to correspond to the needs of inhabitants completing the basic matrix.

The visible sinuosity of this built landscape is structured by eight spine columns integrating all the vertical circulations linked together by two horizontal storeys crossing through a straight line the whole village from end to end. The whole set forms a compact orthogonal system that distributes all the flows through each module. The project is eco-designed and integrates all the bioclimatic systems as well as the renewable energies. Actually, the sea thermal energy conversion is made in the coverage of the pier by using the difference of temperature between the superficial waters and the deep waters. The kinetic energy from marine currents is converted by hydro-turbines under the pier into electrical energy; the sinusoidal pergolas on the roof attract the solar energy by photovoltaic panels and a park of spiral wind turbines is planted in the great tropical garden that covers the logistical basis.

Taking advantage of the same natural and climatic conditions from the beginning as its neighbour island, Dominican Republic, Haiti is one of the countries that profits from one of the biggest potentials to reinvent a new sustainable urbanity and to implement the biggest challenges of reconstruction as a matter of urgency. The Coral Reef prototype project is in this context of humanitarian crisis a positive and dynamic answer fighting for the sustainable industrialised and standardised rebuilding of collective social housing of humanitarian and environmental high quality in disaster area.

Vincent Callebaut Architect

TEXTE FRANCAIS

CORAL REEF, MATRIX ET PLUG-IN POUR LA CONSTRUCTION DE 1000 MAISONS PASSIVES PREFABRIQUEES

Surnomm "la perle des Antilles", Hati fut un temps le pays le plus visit des Grandes Antilles occupant le tiers occidental de l'le d'Hispaniola. Dvast en 2010 par un sisme de magnitude 7.0 sur lchelle de Richter, le pays est aujourdhui reconstruire partir de nouveaux concepts innovants aussi bien architecturaux quurbanistiques.

Le projet Coral Reef planifie une matrice pour construire un village tridimensionnel et auto-suffisant en nergie partir dun seul et unique module de base standardis et prfabriqu afin de reloger les rfugis de telles catastrophes humanitaires. Ce module de base est simplement constitu de deux maisons passives ( ossature mtallique et aux parements de bois tropicaux) imbriques en duplex autour dune circulation horizontale transversale reliant chaque unit.

Inspir dun rcif corallien aux silhouettes fluides et organiques, le projet dans son ensemble se prsente comme une grande structure vivante constitue de deux vagues destines abriter plus de mille familles hatiennes. Ces deux vagues habites ondulent le long de leau sur un pier artificiel construit sur pieux sismiques dans la mer des Carabes. De courbes concaves en courbes convexes, les modules de logements viennent saligner et sempiler par strates successives comme un origami gant. Dans linterstice de ces deux vagues habites, se cre un somptueux canyon intrieur pixlis de terrasses et de cascades vgtales.

En effet, .la disposition en quinconce des modules de base parallpipdiques permet de superposer les maisons passives en porte--faux et de multiplier les axes de vison vers une infinit de perspectives. Chaque toiture de chaque module devient ds lors un jardin biologique suspendu permettant chaque famille crole de cultiver ses propres denres alimentaires et de composter ses propres dchets en toute autonomie.

Ce canyon est un vritable cosystme tropical pour la faune et la flore locale. Ode la biodiversit urbaine, il est aussi laxe central de la vie communautaire de ce village futuriste et respectueux de son environnement. Entre les ondes de ces habitats cologiques, les tracs sinueux du socle antisismique (absorbant les vibrations en cas de tremblement de terre) viennent intgrer les fonctions publiques de la vie sociale. Des fermes aquicoles accueillent des bassins de pisciculture tandis que des lagunes de phyto-puration recyclent les eaux uses avant de les rejeter la mer.

Le Master Plan est volutif et se dveloppe sur le principe du plugin. La trame urbaine de ce village cologique reste donc indtermine, flexible et se dveloppe en continu dans le temps et lespace. De nouveaux modules dextension, galement prfabriqus en usine et amens en cargo, pourront effectivement venir se greffer comme un mcano gant au fur et mesure des besoins afin de complmenter la matrice de base.

La sinuosit apparente de ce paysage construit est nanmoins structure par huit colonnes vertbrales intgrant toutes les circulations verticales relies entre elles par deux plateaux horizontaux traversant en ligne droite tout le village de bout en bout. Le tout forme un systme orthonorm compact qui distribue tous les flux travers chaque module.

Le projet est co-conu et intgre aussi bien le bioclimatisme que les nergies renouvelables. En effet, lnergie marthermique est produite dans le tablier du pier en exploitant la diffrence de temprature entre les eaux superficielles et les eaux profonde; lnergie marmotrice convertit en nergie lectrique le courant des mares sous le pier; les rubans sinusodaux en toiture captent lnergie solaire par des panneaux photovoltaques; et un parc doliennes spirales est plant dans le grand jardin tropical qui recouvre le socle logistique.

Bnficiant des mmes conditions naturelles et climatiques de dpart que sa voisine, la Rpublique Dominicaine, Hati est l'un des pays qui jouit dun des plus grands potentiels pour rinventer une nouvelle urbanit responsable et pour mettre en uvre les plus grands challenges de reconstruction en urgence. Le projet prototype Coral Reef se prsente dans ce contexte de crise humanitaire comme une rponse positive et dynamique militant pour le la reconstruction durable, industrialise et standardise de logements sociaux collectifs de haute qualit environnementale et humaine en zone sinistre.

Vincent Callebaut Architecte