UVA Wins Haiti Homes Design Competition

World Interior Design Network reports that The Architecture for Health In Vulnerable Environments (ARCHIVE), an international charity based in the US, recently announced the winners of a global architectural competition inviting architects, designers and health specialists for the building of ‘healthy homes’ for Haiti. The Haitian government-sponsored competition is intended to address the need to house 1.3 million people left homeless following the country’s devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. The winning entry came from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Dubbed ‘Initiative reCOVER’ the design is a hybrid – part modular with interior components that house appliances, service and storage; and part prefabricated panelized building envelope, with some conventional building construction or on-site assembly. The winners say the design responds not only to the need for housing, but also to economic and environmental issues. Prefabricated exterior wall frames can be sided with locally sourced materials, such as bamboo, recycled or regional wood or locally manufactured metal. The reCOVER design also utilizes passive environmental solutions to bring light and air through the house, and the design maintains a close link between interior and exterior space to facilitate indoor and outdoor living and promote community and socialization. This is accomplished with large porches with removable awnings that reflect Haitian culture and customs. Photovoltaic panels provide electricity for ambient interior light and to run small appliances. Initiative reCOVER partnered with All Technically Proficient Professionals LLC, The Arup Cause and Building Goodness Foundation on the project.

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