Collège Coeur Immacule de Marie

Collège Coeur Immacule de Marie

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Apr 26, 2012
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Collège Coeur Immacule de Marie (CIM) in downtown Port-au-Prince is the latest school to come under the focus of the Haiti Rebuilding Center.

CIM hopes to rebuild permanent facilities for its 850 girls pre-quake enrollment spanning grades 1-12. The facilities had a chemistry lab, science classrooms, a computer lab, library and media room. The school hopes to, through the new construction, develop an after-school vocational program.

"The client wants a school for the future of Haiti," explains Architecture for Humanity design fellow Kate Evarts, an architect from Seattle. Kate is taking lead on the project, and will work with CIM and staff at the Rebuilding Center on design development and construction documents and administration.

CIM already runs a progressive curriculum - they're enrolled in a program with the Government of Haiti sponsoring new directions in education: electives, art history, economics, and other classes outside the regular curriculum." CIM also carries a tradition of providing this education for the most needy students, and introduces transfers at grades 1 and 7.

In a year's time, these students will be looking at a whole new school: 20 classrooms are needed to accommodate the student body, and the program will include special labs, a director's office, cafeteria, kitchen and restrooms.

So what does the architecture look like for a school for the future of Haiti?

"Sophisticated, elegant, safe and effective." Kate says. As for the details, it's way too early to tell. The design process will uncover the solution over the next several weeks.

The CIM school is ambitious and excited; if any indicator, the school has been the long-standing volleyball champions of Port-au-Prince. Naturally, a volleyball court has become a key feature in the new design.

Other elements include the re-introduction of a three-storey block, as had existed before the earthquake, provided the soils report shows the building can be supported.

The timeline for design and construction of the school is projected to be a year. Topographical survey has already been conducted, and the geotechnical engineer has scheduled a survey for next week.


Current site plan


Design site plan


Temporary classrooms


Nuns dormitory and kitchen building


Temporary computer lab


The Gingerbread house is school property but beyond project scope