Haitian rural architecture

read more

Haiti has a history, a culture and a tradition that are worth to be known, respected and valued. This is the reason why during the project realisation two main features of the local architecture, the Lakou and the Kay Ayitien, have been taken on account . The Lakou as an urban fabric, and the Kay Ayitien as a habitat typology.

The Lakou

The Lakou, from the French cour (courtyard), consists of a set of houses belonging to the same household distributed around a central courtyard used to carry out the main collective daily activities.
Today, because of the disappearance of extended family units and land fragmentation, the typical Lakou has been replaced by a more linear system formed by single-family detached homes, each with its own open space on the back encircled by a kitchen, store room, bathroom and in some cases water tank. The continuity of these open spaces, next to one another and connected, enables the aggregation of family units that carry out collective activities.

These two types of Lakou blended into the project, creating a modified version of the two. The linear setup of the modern Lakou was kept, while the shared space between a house and the other was restored to the center as it was in the typical Lakou. An orderly space, easy to control and at the same time open and protected, was obtained in doing so.

1 / 3 – Classic Lakou
2 / 3 – Modern Lakou
3 / 3 – Lakou AYMY

The Rural Kay Ayitien

The Kay ayitien is a simplified rural version of the more sophisticated Gingerbread architecture typical of the cities of Port-au-Prince and Jakmel and is the most common type of single-family home in the rural areas of southern Haiti. In its more typical form, it is constituted by one or more rectangular rooms overlooking a large covered porch. It is characterized by the typical double-pitched roof, which in the Haitian tradition symbolizes acceptance and respect for the residents

The double-pitched roof and the porch area were reinterpreted in the project according to the needs of children and anti-seismic safety.

1 / 2 – Kay ayitien inserted in the typical urban layout of Anse-à-Pitres
2 / 2 – Axonometry Kay ayitien
Touch to open gallery
"Kay ayitien"