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Helping Haiti's Cholera Battle Wins AA School and Foster + Partners Sustainability and Infrastructure Prize

The Architectural Association School of Architecture and Foster + Partners are pleased to announce the award of the 2011 Foster + Partners Prize, which is presented annually to the Architectural Association School of Architecture’s Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure.

The recipient is selected jointly by the AA School and Foster + Partners at the end of each academic year.

This year’s prize has been awarded to Aditya Aachi, of Diploma Unit 7, for his project Haiti Simbi Hubs. The project proposes sanitation infrastructure for Haiti and draws on the unprecedented need for cooperation between the Haitian Government and NGOs to combat cholera outbreaks.

A network of hygiene points known as ‘Simbi Hubs’ is planned, providing localised sanitation processes. Each Simbi Hub includes areas for lavatories, bathing, and laundry, as well as facilities for food storage and preparation. Water and sewage are treated on site and the hubs address issues relating to storm drainage and earthquake safety. All the elements required to build the new infrastructure are designed to be made locally, using established craft skills.

Aditya Aachi, and the other six shortlisted candidates, will be invited to exhibit their work in the gallery in Foster + Partners’ studio in October, when there will be a formal reception and a prize will be presented.

The themes of sustainability and infrastructure that underpin the award were selected to highlight themes of common interest to the AA and Foster + Partners and for their significance in contemporary architectural discourse more globally.

Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive of Foster + Partners, said: “This is the second year we have awarded this prize and in Aditya Aachi’s project we see it going from strength to strength. We hope very much that the debate this prize generates will encourage students to address themes that are of increasing relevance to architecture today.”

Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, said: “The AA School is delighted to have participated in the judging of the Foster + Partners Prize. The work of this year’s winner indicates the enthusiasm and commitment shown by AA Diploma students to address challenging, topical issues in architecture. We are grateful to Foster + Partners for its continued support of the prize and the innovative work it encourages.”

Aditya Aachi, winner of the 2011 Foster + Partners Prize said: “The Earthquake and cholera outbreak of 2010 exposed the lack of both governmental and physical infrastructure in Haiti. The vision for this intervention is not only to create a sustainable system of public sanitation, which will be freely available to all, but also help to make sense of the largely unplanned city by making interventions that reinforce the public realm.”

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 PICTURE LIBRARY


Hub distribution strategy.
  • The rural to urban distribution strategy allows for water movement between hubs and promotes reforestation and self sufficiency.
  • The rural hub is the focal point to agricultural villages – where the government plan to relocate some of the redundant population. Planting and reforestation is supported through use of grey water for irrigation.
  • The larger suburban hubs provide water and sanitation clean zones in the dense periphery around the downtown district – this was the most dense and damaged area.
  • Urban hubs are located throughout downtown Port-au-Prince – enhancing their surroundings, providing water and sanitation services and acting as public spaces in the city.
  • All hubs are connected and flood sacrificially during hurricanes – quickly and naturally draining to the extended wetlands to the north of the city.

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Potential hub distribution throughout metropolitan Port-au-Prince.

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Representational sectional model.
The sectional model allowed for spatial testing but more importantly it is an exploration of fabrication only using tools and techniques available to the Haitians.  The model was manufactured over 4 weeks using no automated processes.  The making process defined the proposed training programme and refined the detailing of the aluminium components of the building.

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Aluminium components denoting specific programmatic moments of user interaction:
  • Hand and foot washing areas.
  • Cooled seating areas
  • Irrigation channels
  • Clothes washing areas
  • Water distribution points
  • Shaded areas where there will be a large number of people.
  • Showers
  • Toilets

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Sectional perspective of suburban hub with water treatment and aluminium moments. Toilets, showers and amenities surround the hub.

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Isometric cutaway of urban hub. To enhance the area surrounding the hub the design was developed using the relationship between site and edge condition of the intervention to allow social choreography and take advantage of environmental conditions.  This urban hub allows for more points of access and provides shortcuts to some programmes, but the cleanliness aspect is still strongly emphasised through out.  For example there are compulsory hand and foot washing areas at all entrances.
The planted evaporativly cooled central area is the public realm which the city lacks.


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Sectional perspective of urban hub in downtown Port-au-Prince.


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Maxim Bendall or William Kallaway: at Kallaway on 00 44 (0)20 7221 7883 or email maxim.bendall@kallaway.com or william.kallaway@kallaway.com

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The AA School
TheArchitectural Association School of Architecture is the world's most renowned international and influential school of architecture. Since 1847 it has pioneered a belief in architecture as profession, culture and form of human enquiry and is credited with fostering the creation of worldwide leaders of architecture. AA School alumni include architectural leaders Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Lord Rogers, Will Alsop and many others. Through its unique, year-long, unit based system of teaching, direct intervention in cities and its intensively collaborative team based approach to learning, the school brings together disconnected worlds, fresh ideas and inspiring insights. The AA School is celebrated worldwide as an imaginative setting for architectural culture.

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