a LAKOU for Haití
A multidisciplinary educational project, CATEDRA HAITI, centered on housing related issues and to generate potential alternatives that could aid Haiti’s reconstruction. While much of the international aid, regarding housing, concentrated on temporary shelter at the scale of the individual dwelling, this project was interested in looking primarily at permanent initiatives within Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. It concentrated on the idea of the LAKOU, as a spatial collective form type intricately associated to Haitian culture and tradition. During Haiti’s colonial time, the traditional Lakou was the protected and auto-sufficient place where individuals, families and neighbors met for safety, education, care, advise, organization and productivity needed to create peaceful and prosperous communities. One of the strengths of the Haitian social system was the great interconnection of mutual responsibility among the members of extended and multigenerational families living in Lakou compound clusters under a cooperative model.
As a model for new village housing for the rural areas, the project developed a contemporary version of the LAKOU urban form at two generative scales: the scale of the FAMILY LAKOU and its aggregation into a larger VILLAGE LAKOU.