Haiti - Heritage : «The reconstruction of public buildings will now begin» (dixit Martelly)
In a symbolic ceremony held in front of the ruins of the Palace, the President Michel Martelly accompanied by the First Lady, Sophia Martelly, the Minister of Interior and Territorial Communities, Mr. Ronsard St-Cyr, of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs, Pierre Richard Casimir, of the Director of the School of Magistrates, Mr. Kesner Thermessy, the President of the Senate, Mr. Simon Dieuseul Desras, of Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Poly Faustin and Mr. Guy Laroche Operations Manager at J/P HRH and Mr. Henry Robert Jolibois, Director of the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (ISPAN), declared "By giving the kickoff to the reconstruction of the National Palace, I show that I intend extricate of our mental the syndrome of January 12 with all the fears, anxieties and apprehension of the future that this causes. I invite thus to turn our attention to the rehabilitation of our country, so that we take charge of our future."
The cost of dismantling and demolition will be assumed by J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), the humanitarian organization established by American actor Sean Penn, Roving ambassador for Haiti, they will ast three months, stated the President Martelly "The new building will reproduce at the identical these lines, shapes and volumes that maintained and justified our pride," in accordance with the seismic standards, without mentioning the duration and cost of reconstruction.
Mr. Guy Laroche, Operations Manager at J / P HRO, indicated that his team supports this project of the State and promised a significant contribution to its success.
For its part the architect Henry Robert Jolibois, Director of ISPAN declared "The Palace behind me is an extraordinary symbol of our national motto Unity is strength" explaining that in a first time it is to save pieces of this symbol, which is the National Palace "the first phase of work consists in a disassembly under control. We will use systems to try to save parts of the palace in their entirety, because it is a symbol," indicating that part of the National Palace will be restored to the identical and another will be modified in accordance to the contemporary needs.
Before the first demolitions
Before the first demolition, as part of protective measures at the National Palace in Haiti, ISPAN, under the direction of architect Bernard Millet, began a campaign of architectural drawings of the monument. The objective was to document so exhaustively as possible the historic monument. These surveys were made with traditional methods and tools and then scanned. Parts destroyed by the earthquake have been reconstructed from the collection of photographs submitted to the documentation center of ISPAN. These photographs taken in previous years during restoration or management intervention were thus a source of first hand information for the reconstitution of plans of the National Palace. Apart the transposition in plan of different levels of the palace, the draftsmen of the ISPAN have drawn up various vertical sections allowing a complete understanding of the subject. Then systematically, the shutters of openings, wrought iron gates, architectural details, such as consoles, moldings, openings, balusters, etc... were drawn, categorized, inventoried.
In April 2011, after a favorable advice of the ISPAN, preliminary work to rebuild the palace consisting of the demolition of parts of the building considered dangerous or unrecoverable have began under the leadership of technicians of National Center of Equipment (CNE). Were concerned by this work the Annex 1 [former Officers' Mess of the Haitian army built in the 70s], and the Annex 2, both irreparably damaged. For several months, the demolition had been partially stopped.
A bit of history
"The National Palace is undoubtedlythe most complete expression of a great period of Architecture in Haiti and is probably one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture transplanted in America. Made of reinforced concrete, this building is, moreover, a breakthrough in construction technology in Haiti," according to the ISPAN. The National Palace of origin, built on this site was destroyed during a revolt on December 19, 1869, which overthrew the government of President Sylvain Salnave. Then August 8, 1912, it was destroyed again by the accidental explosion of a powder magazine at the basement. In May 1914 began the reconstruction according to a plan proposed by the Haitian architect George Baussan, graduated in architecture in Paris.
See also :
http://www.haitilibre.com/article-400-haiti-reconstruction-palais-national-d-haiti-quelle-demolition.html (in french)
HL/ S/ HaitiLibre