From the once devastated grounds of Delmas, Haiti, a new all-glass complex will rise as a vision of Haiti’s future. Commissioned, designed and constructed by Haitian natives, the structure is one of the many steps the country has taken towards recovery since the earthquakes that ravaged the region in January 2010. The aptly named “Genesis” project will be seven stories tall, and is already under construction in the suburb of capital Port-au-Prince.
“It’s a new beginning,” Patrick Figaro, 45, a developer of Genesis, told the Miami Herald. “We are not only talking about revitalizing an area, but setting the standard for the modern Haiti.”
When the 7.0 quake struck Haiti’s capital, an already struggling economy was crushed, leaving the government unable to provide much of the support necessary for its people. Global organizations stepped in, receiving $10 billion in pledges, enough aid to rebuild Port-au-Prince from the rubble. However, many of these pledges failed to convert into working capital, further slowing economic recovery.
Instead, Figaro, a Haiti-born architectural engineer educated in America, and his other Haitian colleagues decided to take the reconstruction efforts in their own hands, garnering support from Haitian investors locally and abroad, as well as one of Haiti’s largest banks, and local workers. Arotec Haiti, the family-run construction firm headed up by Figaro, has slowly been developing Genesis on an acre of land in one of Haiti’s key commercial locations. Both seismic and hurricane-resistant, the building will have three levels of underground parking in addition to its seven stories, with 100,000 square feet of commercial rental space, and 25 extended-stay hotel rooms available for travelers.
“This could easily be built in Miami,” Javier Salman, the Cuban-American architect who designed the all-glass exterior told the Miami Herald. The “modern, cutting-edge building” will eventually rise 123 feet and be backlit at night. “It will be visible from the port, and from the Port-au-Prince airport. It screams, ‘Here I am.’ ”