Last month, Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti with 145-mile-per-hour winds, causing complete devastation along the Caribbean country’s southwestern coast. Although the capital of Port-au-Prince was spared this time, the storm has hampered ongoing attempts to rebuild the city, still hamstrung from the 2010 earthquake that killed nearly a quarter of a million people. Among the architects who are part of the earthquake recovery efforts, the 2-year-old design and research studio Emergent Vernacular Architecture (EVA) has made an impact with a number of socially attuned civic spaces.
EVA Studio's eight projects in Haiti—an amalgam of community spaces, houses, and educational facilities—are characterized by an energetic aesthetic: vibrant colors, verdant landscaping, and a textured palette of local materials such as adobe and recycled metal. Just as the London- and Port-au-Prince-based firm incorporates patterned details onto surfaces ranging from pavement to window shutters, it seeks social, cultural, and economic patterns within a site to inform a design solution.