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Tapis Rouge in Port-au-Prince, Haiti by Emergent Vernacular Architecture

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An amphitheatre in an earthquake-stricken area incorporates a well to provide ongoing viability

The lack of public space may not be the most pressing problem of slums, but – despite apologists arguing for the existence of a ‘distributed’ public space of doorsteps, alleyways and the like – overcrowding inevitably denies the pleasures of the square: the availability of larger spaces for children to play, the slightly more expansive vista and the possibility of relaxing with more comfort in urban space.

Following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, London-based studio Emergent Vernacular Architecture designed and built such a space on the edge of an informal settlement in Port-au-Prince. The space takes the form of an amphitheatre, with infant trees planted to provide shade. In an attempt to answer the challenging question of the ongoing viability of charitable projects in such straitened circumstances, the project incorporates a well, the proceeds from which will be used to maintain the site.