The Iron Market in Port-au-Prince is a cultural, historic and architectural landmark and has been an iconic symbol of Haitian community aspiration for over 120 years. Its location in the centre of the city means it is a significant commercial and social hub.
Prefabricated in France by the celebrated engineers Baudet Donon & Cie, the iron structure was initially destined to serve as a railway station in Cairo (possibly explaining the building’s Islamic minarets), but for unknown reasons ended up in Haiti where it was inaugurated in 1891.
Having suffered extensive fire damage in 2008 which destroyed the Market’s north hall, the market’s central section and part of its southern range suffered severe damage in the devastating 2010 earthquake. John McAslan + Partners led a multi-disciplinary team, which included scores of local artisans, to resurrect the entire Iron Market within one year of the earthquake with the reconstructed market inaugurated by President Bill Clinton on January 11, 2011, the first anniversary of the 2010 earthquake. The scheme preserved or repaired all key details, using original materials wherever possible.
The Iron Market is an important resource for the residents of Port-au-Prince as well as an important symbol for the country’s recovery from devastation. Elements of new design in the restoration incorporate current thinking on earthquake resistance and seismic requirements. JMP also ensured high quality manufacture and finishes to reduce any maintenance requirements in the future. The Iron Market is now returned to daily use and forms the cornerstone of a new city-centre cultural quarter redevelopment strategy.