Hospital Chapel, Haiti

Guylee Simmonds Architects, Cap-Haïtien, 2019


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Hope Health Action (HHA) is a British healthcare charity founded in 2007 responding to the critical need for better healthcare in Northern Haiti.

Architect Guylee Simmonds was approached to design and manage the construction of a new chapel for the hospital.

The new chapel needed to meet a range of demands at different times, as a space for quiet contemplation as well as daily services for patients.

Alongside this main space, a connecting office provides an opportunity for staff, patients and their families to meet for counselling and support. Collaborative workshops were held over a year before construction started, engaging with hospital staff and patients to interrogate the original brief from the client and encourage ownership of the project from the beginning.

Guylee Simmonds partnered with Tristan Harvey from Webb Yates Engineers to design the new chapel and meet not only a complex functional brief, but also the technical demands of seismic and hurricane resistance in a context of low construction standards. The solution was a tapering building in both plan and section, which allowed for more intimate services to be held near the front of the chapel, while for larger events six double doors would open up to accommodate much larger services, conferences and staff training over its 185sqm footprint.

The roof is an exposed timber space truss spanning 11m with a steel hollow section forming the bottom chord and a timber joist diaphragm on top. The primary superstructure is a reinforced concrete in-situ frame with independent reinforced cantilevered hollow block wall. The design was conceived to use locally available materials and labour from the surrounding community, while being detailed to international seismic standards.

The chapel opened in early 2018 and now provides a much-needed space for reflection and stillness within the bustling hospital.


  • Begun: Jan 2018
  • Completed: Feb 2019
  • Floor area: 195m2
  • Sectors: Healthcare, Religious
  • Total cost: £75,000
  • Funding: Hope Health Action & The Haiti Health Trust
  • Tender date: Sep 2016
  • Procurement: Design Build
  • Address: HCBH Hospital, Cap-Haïtien, Haiti

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