This year’s Foster + Partners prize went to Architectural Association graduate John Naylor who proposed bamboo as a construction material for Haiti, which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
The prize is annually presented to an Architectural Association graduate with the best solution for themes such as sustainability and infrastructure.
Titled Bamboo Lakou, the projects combines a sustainable bamboo-growing infrastructure with the development of the vernacular “Lakou” communal courtyard typology.
Taking into account Haiti’s massive deforestation, Naylor wanted to establish a long-term bamboo-based strategy and introduce it as an earthquake-resistant replacement for concrete.
“In a proud culture such as Haiti, preaching a new form of building to the construction sector is riddled with problems,” said Naylor. “This re-materialisation of a construction industry and subsequent demand aims to engender bamboo growth in Haiti.”
Architectural Association director, Brett Steele said: “John Naylor’s project demonstrates the ways in which infrastructural ideas and architectural imagination might today expand beyond the clichés of modernism to become life itself, literally breathing into communities, cities and entire countries, today and long into the future.”