Posts Tagged: architecture

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It’s been a whirlwind week for me in Haiti.  Between trying to work out, work and all of the other daily tasks associated with living here, I’ve not had much of a chance to catch my breath.  Training continues to go well, I’ve increased my run distances and am starting to (finally) feel strong running in the heat and mountains.  I have been getting some good bike sessions in as well.  Now I just am getting myself physically and mentally prepped to do some hard work before my race.

Work has been busy because the J/P HRO Project I was working on last week has had a “broadening of scope” this week and it’s become a much more complex project.  In short, the Ecole Mixte Bethesda in Delmas 32 has some serious structural issues on the second floor of the building adjacent to the one I worked with last week and I am having to come up with a few different proposals for its rehabilitation.  It is very rewarding work though.  I went to the site on Tuesday to survey this particular building with Brent (another one of the University students) and in doing so, we got a good chance to work together for the first time.  After that I’ve been buried in the computer essentially all week, save for a mapping exercise on Wednesday morning.  

Above is one of the “details” I will have to fix.  It is a 1”x1” steel column that has been inserted into an existing block wall’s sill by removing the top layer of concrete and then welding the steel to the exposed rebar….There are 4 instances of this in the second building at Bethesda; they are all actively holding up the roof structure…kind of.

Last night we all took a well-deserved break from everything here and relaxed while watching some excellent cinema.  I never knew how soothing Zoolander could be!  We all definitely needed some laughs after what has been a challenging week.

If architecture fails for me, I’m becoming a male model.

p.s. It seems odd to say this but, we leave Haiti exactly 14 days from now.  Time has gone incredibly too fast here.  I have a good feeling that I will continue coming back though.

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It’s officially one month until Ironman Florida 70.3 and I’m starting to get really excited for my race!  Training has gone quite well this week even though I’ve had crazy deadlines with work and some questionable nutrition on my part.  It will be interesting to see how I transition from my moderate level of intensity over the last couple weeks into a much higher level with a (hopefully) 5 day a week gym regimen.  The bike legs have been feeling great this week and I’m starting to feel much better in terms of my core strength as well.  It seems as though things are starting to align for my season.

On the architecture front, it’s been a crazy week.  I spent Tuesday in the Delmas 32 region of Port au Prince and it was quite the experience.  I went to a new site with one of the other design fellows at Architecture for Humanity to measure existing conditions and to assess the site.  The school we are working on is quite in disrepair and our plans are to essentially renovate it within a very limited budget and hope that the project acts as a catalyst for the neighboring buildings in terms of gaining funding.  Next week a full cost estimate will be generated and used in marketing.  It is a project that would benefit MANY children who need it desperately.  The Delmas 32 region is the one that J/P HRO (the NGO that Dave and I are working with) has been focusing on.  This area was hit quite hard due to the density of the settlement.  There are also plans for a clinic and many multi-family housing structures.  

I’ll be more on top of blogs in the coming weeks, I promise!

The Ecole Mixte Bethesda

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It has been quite the week thus far.  Yesterday morning we had our first design review in the office.  It is quite an interesting system that Architecture for Humanity has; they essentially go through each project in a sort of “rapid-fire” way and quickly make decisions about deliverables for the coming week.  We’ll be finalizing our plans and massing for next Friday.  Tonight we are meeting with Stacey (our Design Lead) to discuss our options and visions for the Orphanage.  We will be going back to the site to meet with the clients and show them our first options on Wednesday.  It’s a very exciting time to be working right now.  Today is our first real day off and we’ll be sure to make the best of it!  

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Project in Haiti

Here is the project I will be working on with my good friend Abby Kurlinkus.  Much, much more to follow.

Cody

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Well, we’re here safely and soundly.  Being in this country is a rather surreal experience and to try to put it into words would be doing a disservice.  The images that we see on television and the newspapers really can’t do justice to what is actually happening in Haiti.  Yes, there is devastation in some parts and yes, there is poverty and miserable living conditions in some parts but, the Haitian spirit is definitely still alive.  The culture of the country seems quite vibrant and that gives me a reason for hope.  Tonight we had our first of many meetings to plan projects and coordination for our efforts here.  It will be a very fruitful experience and something totally new for me (which I am ready for).  The work days are going to be varied and fluid, much like the entire structure of this country in itself.  I am looking forward to sharing my experience with all of you.

Cheers,

Cody