Actor Brad Pitt has signed up thirteen architectural practices - including Adjaye Architects (above and below), Morphosis, MVRDV and Shigeru Ban Architects - for the Make It Right housing project in New Orleans.
The project, initiated by Pitt in 2006, aims to develop sustainable and affordable housing in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
The aim is to construct 150 houses on the site which will be ecologically responsible, safe, affordable and have a high quality of design.
Above: Adjaye Architects, London, England
The designs, by a mixture of local New Orleans architects, US firms and international companies, are based on traditional New Orleans housing types such as the Shotgun, the Camelback and the Creole Cottage, combined with targets for safety in the area and Cradle to Cradle design principles.
Above and 2 images below: Constructs - Accra, Ghana
The following text is from Make It Right:
Make It Right’s goal is to join the history of the Lower 9th Ward with creative new architectural solutions mindful of environmental and personal safety concerns in order to encourage both the evolution of aesthetic distinctiveness and the conscientious awareness of natural surroundings.
To that end, MIR assembled a team of fourteen local, national and international world-renowned architecture firms specializing in innovative, ecologically responsible design.
Local: Billes Architects – New Orleans, LA; Eskew Dumez Ripple – New Orleans, LA; Concordia – New Orleans, LA; Trahan Architects – Baton Rouge, LA; John Williams Architects – New Orleans, LA
Below: Graft - Berlin, Germany
National: BNIM – Kansas City, MO; Kieran Timberlake - Philadelphia, PA; Morphosis – Santa Monica, CA; Pugh + Scarpa – Santa Monica, CA.
International: Adjaye Architects – London, England; Constructs – Accra, Ghana; Graft – Berlin, Germany; MVRDV – Rotterdam, Holland; Shigeru Ban Architects – Tokyo, Japan
In keeping with Make It Right (MIR)’s overarching priority to work in cooperation with former residents of the Lower 9th Ward, the approach to new home design began directly with the homeowners themselves. Because local cultural influences gave rise to the pre-Katrina architecture so emblematic of the area, preserving that identity remains vital in reclaiming the spirit of the neighborhood. MIR’s goal is to join the history of this tradition with creative new architectural solutions mindful of environmental and personal safety concerns in order to encourage both the evolution of aesthetic distinctiveness and the conscientious awareness of natural surroundings.
Below: MVRDV - Rotterdam, Netherlands
The architects were given a typology study that included traditional New Orleans housing types such as the Shotgun, the Camelback and the Creole Cottage along with current ideas and recommendations for the target area in the Lower 9th Ward. The MIR team produced a set of guidelines for the houses that set metrics for the final design to insure that the specific goals of the MIR organizations were met. The team is also using Cradle to Cradle thinking to guide and inspire design and materials selection for new homes in the Lower 9th Ward.
The four main guiding principles for the designs are safety, affordability, sustainability and high design quality.
In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment.
Below: Shigeru Ban Architects - Tokyo, Japan
Previously, Pitt sponsored an architecture competition organized by Global Green with the goal of generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Several of those designs are currently under construction in the Lower 9th Ward and the project inspired him to expand his efforts.
After discussing the hurdles associated with rebuilding in a devastated area, the group determined that a large-scale redevelopment project focused on green affordable housing and incorporating innovative design was indeed possible.
The group settled on the goal of constructing 150 homes (one of the larger rebuilding projects in the city), with an emphasis on developing an affordable system that could be replicated.
Below: BNIM - Kansas City, MO
To demonstrate replicability, Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, proving that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hopes that this project would be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans.
Having listened to one former resident's plea to help "make this right," Pitt was inspired to name the project "Make It Right" (MIR).
Below: Kieran Timberlake - Philadelphia, PA
Below: Morphosis - Santa Monica, CA
Below: Pugh + Scarpa - Santa Monica, CA
Below: Billes Architects - New Orleans, LA
Below: Eskew Dumez Ripple - New Orleans, LA
Below: Concordia - New Orleans, LA
Below: Trahan Architects - Baton Rouge, LA