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Experimental Bamboo II

Location: Port au Prince and Marmelade, Haiti

Dates: 30th July – 11th August 2016

The 'Core House' Typology

This is a residence conceived to be built and inhabited through an ‘incremental approach’ to urban self-built housing. Terms such as progressive development (Turner 1976), instalment construction, or building ‘serially’ (Abrams 1964), can also be used. This is initially designed for a family and/or owner to build a minimal one or two room dwelling. The design has to take into account expansion in the event the owners can afford and space allows for an additional building at the back or the side of the lot, or a second story if adequate foundations and structure are provided for.

The 2016 Brief

For the summer 2016, students were asked to design a 25sqm ‘core house’ with a structural system which can be straightforwardly constructed with a minimal variation of components. This had to be constructed by, or with the direct involvement of the owners or family so they can feel ownership of the process. This home was to be earthquake resilient, and resistant to hurricane winds of 80 m/s. The home must utilise a species of bamboo which grows in Haiti, in the primary structure however you are not limited only to using bamboo for the rest of the construction. This house was intended to be replicable by others in the community who can learn from the construction and use the finished building as reference. This ‘core house’ is designed to affectionately introduce bamboo as a material to live alongside. This had to be aesthetically desirable to be chosen by the occupier or family and spatially functional responding to the perceived utilitarian social and cultural needs of Haitian society. The output of the class was to be presented through a communicative medium applicable to both the local community and government agencies.