Haiti Chapel

Structural Designer

Webb Yates Engineers

Client Name

Hope Health Action

Location

Northern Haiti, Haiti

ARCHITECT
Guylee Simmonds

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Webb Yates Engineers worked with charity Hope Health Action and architect Guylee Simmonds to design a new chapel, required to provide a large new space for services, meetings, counselling and consulting. The design of the chapel responds to the challenges of both seismic activity and hurricanes, combined with a lack of good quality building materials and experienced labour.

Judge's comment:

The Caribbean country of Haiti regularly suffers serious natural disasters in the form of hurricanes, with associated high winds, high floods and earthquakes. The most recent earthquake, in 2010, brought widespread devastation and loss of life.
 
The design of the chapel responds to a number of challenges - the likelihood of both seismic activity and hurricanes, and the lack of good quality building materials and experienced labour. Due to the small scale of the structure and the importance that the space would have in the event of a natural disaster, the decision was made to design the structure with the strength to resist a 1 in 500-year earthquake. It is a simple and elegant example of appropriate engineering, beautifully integrated with the architecture, providing an optimistic focal building for the community.