It’s been an exciting year watching Haiti make some of the top lists in the world for Tourism, Vacation locations and more.
Azure Magazine just released their 10 Best Buildings of 2015 and the Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre by MASS Design Group in Haiti is number 5.
[ Azure Magazine ] Roughly 750,000 cases of cholera – a curable disease – have been documented in Haiti since the island was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010. The staggering figure reveals the dire need to rethink public health infrastructure in regions where hospitals and clinics are in short supply or non-existent.
MASS Design Group, a not-for-profit Boston firm co-founded by Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks, is doing just that. This summer the firm opened the Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre, where passive features kept construction costs low and stripped away the need for prohibitively high-cost operating systems. The porous cladding (built by local metalworkers) provides natural light and ventilation for better air circulation; an on-site wastewater treatment facility helps thwart further recontamination; and floors are pitched toward drains to assist in washing away surface microbes.
As New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman noted, solution-based design thinking like this might even nudge Western hospitals away from the outmoded sealed building paradigm that relies on energy- and money-sucking mechanical systems. “Architectural innovation these days can travel south to north, after all,” he wrote, “not just north to south.”
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