The Architectural Association School of Architecture and Foster + Partners have announced the winner of the 2011 Foster + Partners Prize, which is presented annually to the AA School of Architecture’s Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure. 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 localized 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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Aluminum 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.
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.”
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.
All images courtesy of Architectural Association School of Architecture.
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