• PROGRAM: Church, Parish house, Auditorium, Classrooms
  • CLIENT: Archdiocese of Port au Prince
  • PARTNER IN CHARGE: Alessandro Orsini
  • PROJECT ARCHITECT: Zeinab Shirani
  • TEAM: Alessandro Mangione

The symbolism of the project refers to the number three that refers to the Trinity and the number twelve, which has an important meaning in both the Old and the New Testament. The twelve refers to the foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem, the gates (Ap 21, 12-21), the pearls, the angels. The design idea stems from a pure rectangular volume carved with interior arches as remnants of the original cathedral and limited openings in order to make the new building hurricane proof. The tight vertical openings are created slicing the volume in six modules that act as structural frames and formally create 12 chapels on the perimeter of the cathedral referring to the 12 stars of the crown of the Virgin Mary. The penetration of three light wells in the rectangular volume, not only responds to a more phenomenological element in the main assembly, the natural light, but also to a requirement of making the roof hurricane proof.

The negative pressure that create a lifting force sufficient to take the roof off caused by wind is minimized by using large cones on the roof, which performe as air de-fluxes chimneys. The cones will also activate the cross natural ventilation in the building using the refreshed winds coming from the outdoor cooling pool.

The new cathedral structures are intended to withstand the largest earthquake of a certain probability that is likely to occur in Haiti. The main structure is made of reinforced concrete and steel that appropriately sized will make the structure strong and ductile enough to survive the shaking with an acceptable damage. The joint at the base of the new church will be equipped with base isolation or using structural vibration control technologies to minimize any forces and deformations.