When Benoit Vilcéus designs a building, he knows it has to have two key qualifies: it has to be both beautiful and functional – and it’s that philosophy that has allowed him to innovate in a sector not usually known for its creativity.
Having studied at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York, Vilcéus was determined when he returned from the United States to raise standards of construction and interior design in Haiti – and so he set up Kajou Creations Expo in Port-au-Prince in 2007.
With 15 fulltime staff and 150 trained apprentices located around the country, Kajou Creations Expo provides the ultimate one-stop-shop for building design, with everything from carpentry, electricity, plumbing, roofing and hurricane-proofing to office services, furniture design and “aesthetic maintenance” – the full package, including identifying outsourcing partners.
Kajou Creations Expo currently has five large construction projects in the pipeline and two annual service contracts in place – and currently has 50 apprentices being trained to meet growing demand in a marketplace that’s becoming more demanding every day.
“We customize each project to the customer’s needs and ensure good quality and finish throughout”, Vilcéus says. “Whether they’re residential or commercial clients, we encourage them to get involved in the design and make it their own. It’s a very personal form of collaboration.”