Following the call for expressions of interest for the reconstruction of the National Palace of Haiti, the Presidential Commission for the Reconstruction of the National Palace, created last April, composed of 7 members: the engineer Clément Bélizaire (Coordinator), Patrick Durandisse, Patrick Delatour, the Architect Daniel Élie, Sabine Malbranche, Georges Michel and Yvan Pinchinat, receives and analyzes the files of this national competition of international scope.
To date, the Commission is not yet able to provide an exact answer on the cost of this reconstruction. However, according to a rough estimate of the architect Daniel Elie, the reconstruction of the National Palace could cost between 40 and 50 million US dollars.
According to the Commission, the financing of the Palace will be spread over four fiscal years to avoid a burden too heavy for the economy of Haiti. Moreover, in order to reduce the burden of the Public Treasury, the Commission indicates that it is considering raising funds and seeking the participation of state-owned income-generating institutions. It said that the next fiscal year, the Government will reserve funds in the budget for the reconstruction of the Palace.
According to the Commission, if all is well, if funding is available and there is no political instability, which would prevent workers from working on the site, Haiti could have its new Presidential Palace 24 months after the start of works. However, with the unexpected, the Commission recognizes that the project could last four years, but it remains convinced that the Head of State should be able to inaugurate his new presidential residence before the end of his five-year term.
If the Head of State wished that the facades of the National Palace be rebuilt identically, but that the interior is arranged to meet the needs of today’s organs and services of the Presidency, the Architect Daniel Élie does not share this opinion, he believes that contestants must have some freedom in their proposals. Architects and firms in competition “must have the latitude to reproduce the Palace as is, or propose a new architecture.” However, he specifies that the new construction should start from the architecture of the Haitian architect Georges Baussan (1874-1958) who built the National Palace in 1918, considered at the time as the most successful Neoclassical Palace of the Americas, a distinction that must not be lost in the new construction.