The Republic of Haiti has launched an international contest to rebuild its ruined National Palace in Port-au-Prince
Open to locals and international teams led by a Haiti-based practice, the competition seeks proposals to rebuild the former official residence of the president of Haiti, which was reduced to ruins by a major earthquake seven years ago.
The winning team will reconstruct the 1920 structure and submit proposals to rehabilitate its former functions, deliver new administrative spaces, upgrade the site layout and regenerate the wider Champ-de-Mars district.
Announcing the contest, Haitian president Jovenel Moïse said: ‘The new National Palace must make the link between history, culture and the future of the nation. The realisation of a work of this magnitude requires dialogue and communication with citizens to hear their opinions and develop their sense of ownership of all stages of reconstruction.
‘We must learn all the lessons of the 12 January earthquake and [be] vigilant in order to take into account all construction safety standards. The architecture of the palace has made many generations dream [and I want] to reconstruct the exterior facades of the palace in the same way. But inside, there is a need for new accommodations to meet the needs of the organs and services of the presidency of the republic while respecting the construction of a public building.’
The National Palace was completed in 1920 by Haitian architect Georges Baussan, who had won second place in a contest for the structure eight years earlier.
The innovative reinforced concrete building was destroyed by a magnitude 7 earthquake that struck the Caribbean island on 12 January 2010, killing more than 100,000 people and flattening huge numbers of buildings.
The National Palace saw its cupola and columned central pavilion collapse during the earthquake and became a global symbol of the destruction. It was demolished five years ago to make way for a new structure.
Haiti’s newly elected president promised to rebuild the landmark earlier this year and convened a special working group to advance the project. Members include historian Georges Michel, civil engineer Clément Bélizaire and the architect Daniel Elie.
The contest language is French and three winners will receive prizes.
The deadline for applications is midday local time, 31 October.
The new deadline is actually tomorrow November 21st midday local time.