La Reference

Structural Designer

Eckersley O'Callaghan

Client Name



Ganthier, Haiti

JSC Construction

Studio PHH Architects


A charitable engineering project to support the construction of a new secondary school in Haiti, providing new classrooms to 150 students.

Situated in a highly seismic zone and an area prone to hurricanes, the school's resilience was paramount. 

Judge's comment:

This pro-bono-designed school project in Haiti pulls together numerous potential structural engineering aspects of sustainable design. 

Following the recent devastation caused by earthquakes and hurricanes, pragmatic solutions have been required in order to rebuild.

This school project not only exemplifies a resistant structural solution, but it does so in close collaboration with local engineers and construction teams.

All documentation and processes were methodically designed to develop local understanding of structural behaviour and become educational tools for replication, ensuring a social legacy within and beyond this specific project. 

Design decisions incorporated local materials and skill-availability, with the challenging design loads and respective detailing.

Limited resources required creative design approaches and innovative solutions to develop ductile connections resistant to earthquakes with minimal additional material from traditional seismic construction.

All this was achieved whilst coordinating with other disciplines for natural ventilation, daylighting and acoustic performance, ultimately providing a nourishing educational atmosphere. 

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