Design Team: Architectural Association School of Architecture (AAVS Bamboo Lab)

Location: Wynne Farm, Kenscoff, Haiti

Project Lead: John Osmond Naylor

Chief Carpenter: Doria Reyes Cordova

Design Coaches: John Osmond Naylor, Franck Vendryes, Diego Perez Espitia, Doria Reyes-Cordova, Aditya Aachi, Rose Di Sarno, Nancy Le Conte

Student Design Team: Pablo Acevedo, Yukiko Yoshida, Marc Rochnal Louis Jean, Yussef Agbo-Ola, Anthoula Tsagkataki, Jean Widny Lordeus. James Turner, Simon Abboud, Ego Jusmé, Astrid Cam Aguinaga, Jupille Facile, Parnel Presna, Hsu Myat Aung, Schnight-dy Azilien, Junior Emmanuel, Jorge Mayorga, Regine Tesserot Fabius, Elysée Morancy, Farah Hyppolite, Judex Simeon, Fritz Auplan

Carpenters: Barlande Narcisse, Fedeme La Guerre

Student Construction Team: Marilou Veillard, Ivan O’Garro, Graciela  Lopez, Gabriela Estrada, Tamer Remzi Kavlak, Benitho Jean, Regine Fabius, Ausisme Jean Yves, Ausilien Jonnel, Josue Antoine, Jane Wynne, Melissa Day, Senastian Acra, Jean Marc Tribie, Christine Laroque,

Design and Graphic Consultant: SKN

Roof Supplier: Acra Industries, Haiti

Project Year: 2016-2017

Structure: Covered Area: 27m2 (36m2 incl. Galri)

Function: Prototype family ‘core’ house

Max height: 5m


Total Poles used: 30 guadua poles, 120 makinoi poles, 40 Bambusa Lako poles

Total Length: 850m

Pole ø: Base: 10-12cm, top:8-10cm

Pole length: ≈ 6m/8m

Species: Guadua Angustifolia, Phyllostachys Makinoi

Age: Average age is 4 years (between 3 and 5 year old bamboo is used)

Sponsors: Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, UCLBP, FOKAL, Gardiner and Theobald, British Embassy Port au Prince, Foster and Partners, Acra Industries, Gensler, Perez-Reiter Architects, Voyages Lumiere


The Kay Banbou was designed and built as part of the 2016 AA Haiti Visiting School which ran from July – December 2016 and saw the design and construction of a prototype bamboo structure in Haiti. The structure is located in the on the Wynne Farm in Kenscoff to the South of Port au Prince.


For thirteen days in the summer of 2016 six tutors and eighteen students from around the world and Haiti were working to design a 25sqm bamboo ‘core house’. The dwelling being designed was to be straightforwardly constructed by the family or occupant for less than $7,700 and would affectionately introduce bamboo as a new material to live alongside. This dwelling is to be initially designed for a family and/or owner to build a minimal one or two room dwelling. The design had to consider expansion in the event the owners can afford and space allows for an additional building at the back or the side of the lot allowing the home to increase in size as the economic situation or the family size increases.

From this summer workshop 18 design professionals in 6 groups presented 6 proposals. One project was selected to be built as the prototype which is Kay Banbou. This is a one-story version of the proposed design, with the roof substituted for a roof design featured in another student project, Kay Identite. In this project an observation was made that by rotating the pitched roof 45 degrees, more occupy-able space could be generated on an upper floor. This roof is also very easy to build by being constructed with straight elements, the double curve effect is generated which allows hot air to escape at the high points and rain water to be collected at the low points.

The highest point of the parabolic roof is 5m with the lowest at 2.5m. The house is built on pilotis with 9, 14 inch diameter 0.8m deep concrete footings, (the four outer corners at 1.2m depth). The house is 27sqm with the roof covering an area of 48sqm.

The structural frame is made up of 8cm-10cm Guadua bamboo, with the roof and structure of the walls made up of Makinoi (diameter 4cm – 7cm), and the bamboo poles which form the base of the adobe bahareque are 1.5cm – 3cm diameter Phyllostachys Aurea cut from within a 1km radius of the site. Bolts, rebar and tools sourced from local hardware stores were used to make sure this was built with the infrastructure available in Haiti now.

The initial design was produced by bamboo physical models as well as Rhinoceros and Grasshopper models. CFD, solar and structural testing software were used to develop these models to a high degree of refinement, optimising the structure to withstand ground acceleration, wind loads and observe pressure build ups created from the form. The use of this process has proved the value for BIM models on bamboo projects and the new opportunities this presents to optimise structural systems, increase health and safety, and streamline construction programmes.

This house has been constructed by over 200 members of the local community, architects and craftsmen from around Haiti and participants who have joined the project from around the world. A small number of which have now formed a team to continue this project into 2017. More information on these courses can be seen at Haiti.aaschool.ac.uk