After a massive 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti last year, architects and designers immediately took to the drawing boards to develop projects to reconstruct the devastated island. While many creative designs have been proposed, most of them require substantial amounts of time, materials and manpower. Enter The HaitiSOFTHOUSE. Created by a New York City-based team of  four, architects Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and artist Mark Parsons, in collaboration with Chicago-based textile firm Fabric Images, are determined to provide shelter for the citizens of Haiti. The team designed a flexible and sustainable home that they say can be assembled in a day or less, with just the help of few able bodies and a set of simple directions.

The HaitiSOFTHOUSE, a hexagon shape that at first glance resembles an elaborate tent, is comprised of a steel frame and high performance fabric that can withstand the rainy season and its strong winds.  The structure can be anchored directly into solid ground or recycled concrete, and can comfortably sleep up to 4 people while providing room for storage. The structures can also be combined  to create a roomier living spaces as well as an area for dining and relaxation.

The team has said the following about their beautiful and innovative design:

“Given the superior environmental performance and structural stability of the design, this system can be reused in various configurations and sites as needed, and the high-performance material can be recycled into smaller applications and integrated into the local economy.”

The overall manifesto for the team is to make the most of the tragedy and help communities help themselves through local production and fabrication of the homes. Theses transfered skills will in turn aid the community during the phase of redevelopment, and continue to contribute in creating a more sustainable economy and environment.


Images © The HaitiSOFTHOUSE