Conservation & Restoration of the Iron Market
Alan Baxter and Associates
The Iron Market is of high cultural, historical and economic importance to the people of Haiti, so after suffering severe damage in the 2010 earthquake, there was a strong desire to salvage as much of it as possible. Appropriate innovation had to be born out of basic structural principles, as was beautifully demonstrated in the case of the clock tower.
Safety fears were overcome by using mass concrete galoshes to stabilise, allowing safe dismantling and the reuse of undamaged parts. A basic model comprising beer cans and expanded polystyrene was used to prove the idea to the project team.
"The restoration of the Iron Market is a heart-warming story of how a structural engineer can play a key role in delivering societal value. Faced with limited resources and difficult conditions, the structural engineer demonstrated sound yet novel engineering judgement to develop solutions appropriate to the context, enabling a severely wounded building to once again stand proud as the central hub of activity in the community."