WAN Awards


Previous Next

Fondation Enfant Jesus Orphanage and Children's Centre, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Thursday 12 Jan 2012

'Gingerbread' house for Haitian children

Fondation Enfant Jesus Orphanage and Children's Centre by HOK in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
All images: HOK 
Fondation Enfant Jesus Orphanage and Children's Centre by HOK in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Fondation Enfant Jesus Orphanage and Children's Centre by HOK in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 0

Add comments | More comments

Be the first to comment

Passive design principles in LEED Platinum orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti by HOK 

HOK is the U.S. Green Building Council’s official design partner for Project Haiti, a facility targeting LEED® Platinum certification that will replace a Port-au-Prince orphanage and children’s centre devastated by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked Haiti and killed 316,000 people two years ago, on 12th January, 2010.

The project seeks to provide a safe, healthy home for the children who will occupy the Fondation Enfant Jesus Orphanage and Children’s Centre. It is a commitment of the Clinton Global Initiative, which convenes global leaders to create innovative solutions to the world's most urgent challenges.

“The challenge - to design, build and operate a highly sustainable project that will help these Haitian children - is an amazing opportunity,” said HOK Director of Sustainable Design Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C. “We are creating a replicable, living textbook of sustainable design tailored to the Haitian culture that we hope will influence the future of architecture in the region.”

The main three-story, L-shaped structure is organised around a central courtyard - a focal point for the orphanage’s social life. It is flanked by kitchen, dining and training spaces. The design responds to the dense urban condition and prevailing easterly trade winds by organising all the spaces around a courtyard facing east. As with the vernacular ‘Gingerbread’ style of Haiti, the building rises around this courtyard and features deep outdoor balconies.

“Our goal is to create a nurturing and restorative place,” said HOK’s Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP, design leader in the firm’s Seattle studio. “We are striving for net zero water and waste, and for the building to provide a net positive energy source.” To guarantee a safe water supply, HOK’s team designed a closed-loop system that collects, treats and stores water on the site. A biodigester will treat the waste and provide gas for cooking.

The design of the building massing, orientation, openings and materials take full advantage of passive design principles to provide a healthy, comfortable environment. Building systems will require minimal maintenance and provide independence from the city’s unreliable power grid. They will harness excess energy to power street lights and public charging stations on the street.

The below-grade area will serve as the building’s ‘roots’, cleaning and storing water and recycling nutrients from waste into biogas for cooking. The first three stories will function as the structure’s ‘trunk’. Protecting the building like tree bark, a ‘boundary layer’ will shield exterior walkways and vertical surfaces from direct sunlight while allowing for daylighting and natural ventilation. Rooftop gardens will serve as the ‘foliage’, supporting the solar energy system and providing additional green space.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)

More projects by this architect

Spire London

330 Hudson

Youthscape HQ

Middle East Consultant Award

Francis Crick Institute

CMA Tower

Apple Californian development

Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center

LG Group Research and Science Campus

Bridge East London

Hamad International Airport

Francis Crick Institute

Oryx Island

PHX Sky Train™

New Istanbul International Financial Center

Fisher Street Residences

Global Hub for Biomedical Research

Marina Mall

Flame Towers

Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC)

University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Marina Mall

2012 Industry Outlook

HOK - Peter Ruggiero

Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution

KAUST Academic Library

Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) Terminal One

Greenway Self Park

San Francisco Mint

National Cancer Institute Research Campus

Fitzrovia Apartments


Mandarin Oriental Hotel

British Library Boston Spa campus

Techno Park

British Embassy in Jakarta

Dublin Airport City

Emonika City Centre

Silverstone pitlane

Gillette Corner

Ajman Marina

Medeu Village & Ski Village

Haileybury School

Riverwood Mixed-Use Development

40-storey mixed-use tower

New Songdo City

Bear Stearns HQ

Al Ain Masterplan

Southeast Regional Treatment Center

Edinburgh Telford College

Delhi Airport

WAN Business Information

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site