REFLECTED DOME PLAN
The new cathedral rests on a grid of seismic isolators. These help reduce the impact of lateral forces on the foundation. As the ground shakes the giant base isolators rock back and forth, absorbing the massive energy created by the ground movement. As the earth moves underneath, the building is free to react above as the connections between the grade beams of the cathedral and the isolators work to dampen the movement. This seismic technology is celebrated in the crypt, standing side by side with the remains of a foundation never to be forgotten.
On January 12, 2010 Haiti changed forever. A 7.0 magnitude quake shook Port-au-Prince and its neighboring communities. It came unexpectedly, as all earthquakes do, and leveled a city and country On that January day, when the ground stopped shaking, the lives of over 300,000 had been taken. 300,000 more had been injured, and 1,000,000 made homeless. 250,000 houses
were lost. 30,000 commercial buildings were destroyed. The ministries, and their leaders, were gone. The presidential palace was severely damaged, and the Cathedral, Notre Dame de L’Assomption laid in ruin.
The 2012 Haiti earthquake did much more than take lives and destroy buildings. It ripped families apart, left orphans in the streets, crippled an already challenged economy, and broke the hearts of millions around the world. However, underneath the crumbled concrete and rubble, lay an even greater force than any earthquake could ever exert: The spirit of the Haitian people and the support of the world. After the sick were cared for, and after those lost were buried, many without ceremony and without announcement, the country slowly started to clear the debris, and regain its footing. Haiti is rebuilding and will continue to rebuild, stronger and better than it ever has before. Haiti looks to the world for aid, and
we look to Haiti for inspiration and hope.
At the heart of the rebuilding process is the Cathedral. When so many have lost, and so many are in search of answers, the Cathedral reminds us that we are survivors. Because of this, the efforts needed to rebuild the Cathedral are paramount. Notre Dame de L’Assomption stood tall and proud in the skyline of the City, its twin bell towers were scaled to the size of the mountains and the seas. They spoke to the natural world not the manmade. So too, is the case in this design proposal for a new Cathedral for a new Haiti.
the design of the new Cathedral includes an urban plan that extends west to the Gulf of Gonave. This plan is centered on a cruciform of new linear public spaces. ThE crossing, symbolically referencing the cross-axis of the former Cathedral plan, is more formal in nature, and also more green. It is planted with flowering shade trees and provides a transitional space between the hustle and bustle of the city and the sacred space of the memorial and church. This new plaza could become the new center of Port-au-Prince and, as such, should be built up to the dreams and aspirations of the City
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