[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti announce the selection of Kerns Group Architects, P.C., of Arlington, Virginia, as architect of the new Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Diocese of Haiti).
On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people, seriously injuring more than 250,000, and leaving 1.3 million homeless. An extensive number of private and public buildings were destroyed including Holy Trinity Cathedral and the affiliated Episcopal institutions in the Cathedral Complex in Port-au-Prince.
The Project Team made its recommendation following a yearlong strategic process. The members of the project team are diocese of Haiti officials: Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin; Sikhumbuzo Vundla, chief of operations; the Rev. Joseph Constant, special coordinator; and the Rev. John Runkle, RA, consulting project manager.
“Faced with the enormity of rebuilding most of its churches, schools and other structures throughout the earthquake ravaged region, the Diocese of Haiti decided to concentrate its initial efforts on rebuilding Holy Trinity Cathedral as a prominent landmark of God’s abiding presence with the Haitian people and the church’s commitment to serve them,” Duracin said. “The new cathedral will be a beacon of hope to all who suffer.”
“The project team agreed Kerns Group is the architectural firm that will best embody the vision for a new Cathedral that reflects the history and culture of the Haitian people,” said Constant. “Kerns Group bring years of extensive experience designing new churches, including a number of notable Episcopal Churches, throughout much of the United States. And with the Episcopal Church, they also share a profound sense of mission to the people of Haiti that will result in a cathedral unique to the church there.”
“This marks an important milestone in the effort to rebuild our church in Haiti,” said Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church chief operating officer. “It has come about because of the hard work of many people from the Diocese of Haiti, the Church Center, and beyond. It has come about in no small part due to the generosity of thousands of Episcopalians from across our church who have given to rebuild the Holy Trinity Cathedral. I want to especially thank Albert E. Phillips and Laura Thomas of the Atlanta law firm of Cohen, Pollock, Merlin & Small for their tireless dedication and extreme generosity in getting us to this point.”
The new cathedral will be designed to respect and celebrate the characteristics of the Episcopal Church in Haiti, the Haitian people and their culture. The worship space will be larger than the previous cathedral and will provide the flexibility to accommodate larger congregations. It will incorporate the three, surviving, world-renowned, painted murals, of the original 14 that adorned the interior of the destroyed cathedral. Its structure will comply with international seismic and hurricane building code standards. The building will be constructed to serve as a place of refuge in the event of future emergency situations.
For more information on supporting the fundraising effort here.