Emergent Vernacular Architecture : École de l'espoir

At the heart of Delmas 32, one of the largest slums in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), a brand new construction has just taken shape: the School of Hope. Directed by the British agency Emergent Vernacular Architecture, specializing in atypical urban situations, the group of buildings brings color to a messy urban landscape.

Located in the center of the Haitian capital, the Delmas 32 slum, where 35 000 people live was one of the most affected neighborhoods of the Capital by the 12 July 2010 earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale.

Eight years later, the heavily damaged area is starting to recover, thanks in particular to the national financing and reconstruction programs Prodepur-Habitat and PREKAD set up after the disaster. The School of Hope, a collaboration between the Ray of Light and J / P HRO NGOs and the UK agency Emergent Vernacular Architecture, is a school that can offer quality education to more than just 1 000 disadvantaged children but also a place of sharing, living together and learning.


Three irregularly shaped buildings organized around a triangular courtyard have thus invested the dense and anarchic urban fabric of the south of the city. On sloping ground and two levels each, they host three to five classrooms. A large ramp running along the buildings connects the high and low terraces where school children are used to make the ensemble accessible to children with physical disabilities, while echoing the traditionally shaped passageways and balconies. present in Haitian buildings.

Thanks to the creative workshops set up beforehand by the various associations, the future students were able to participate in the development of their school. Under their suggestion, the facades were painted with abstract geometric shapes with bluish tones, bringing a touch of fantasy and color.

A simple and optimistic realization that brings a new breath to a sector in difficulty.

To learn more, visit the Emergent Vernacular Architecture website

Photographs: Gianluca Stefani and Étienne Pernot du Breuil

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