Hot Links Duplex by Atelier Hitoshi Abe
for Make it Right



Los Angeles architects Atelier Hitoshi Abe have sent images of their duplex home to be built in New Orleans for actor Brad Pitt's charity Make it Right.


Called Hot Links, the duplex comprises two long, narrow, one-storey dwellings that are linked together.


The duplex has 45 different plan options to allow owners to customize their living space.


Owners are able to open, close and share space in between the two residences.


Atelier Hitoshi Abe are among 14 local and international architects to have designed multi-family homes to rehouse people who lost their homes when hurricane Katrina destroyed the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.


See more information about Make it Right and duplex designs by other architects  in our earlier stories:

Pugh + Scarpa 
Frank Gehry
David Adjaye, Morphosis, MVRDV, Shigeru Ban and others


Here's more information from Atelier Hitoshi Abe:


Hot Links offers many different options for smart living.

Through the inherit flexibility of its organization, this house can accommodate many arrangements of single family, multiple family, renter and tenant and live/work arrangements.


Two shotgun houses are linked together and able to open, close or share the space between.


In this way, much larger open spaces are created for private bedrooms or public living spaces.


The flexible boundary between the residences can be soft and adapt the changing needs of a family throughout the years.


The array of 45 different plan options gives families the freedom to adapt their living size to their economic situations with little cost.


If an owner desired a single family house, they can choose from a three, four, five or six bedroom house.


If even more space is required, opening up the attic and using it as loft space is also an option.


If an owner’s family required less space, they can split the residence into a duplex, granny-unit or a live-work unit to enable to growth of a small business.


Owners are able to re-create and customize their living situations as needed.


The economic benefits of a flexible structure also translate into ecological benefits of a re-usable or re-purposed structure.


The façade of the building has been developed following a strategy of flexibility as well.


It can absorb different colors, sizes and quantities of siding depending on the availability of materials or economic conditions at a given time.


Weaving different colors into one façade and taking advantage of this adaptability creates a new identity and residential fabric.



  • Midori Mizuhara
  • Ryohei Koike
  • Joe Willendra
  • Carmen Cham
  • Mina Nishio


Make It Right Foundation

The Make It Right Foundation is committed to building 150 energy efficient, solar powered, storm resistant homes in New Orleans Lower 9th Ward, a neighborhood wiped out by Hurricane Katrina and the breach of the Industrial Canal levee.


The Foundation began in December 2007 as a collaboration between actor Brad Pitt, Graft Architects, Cherokee Gives Back and William McDonough + Partners*.


Today 32 families are either living in a Make It Right home or have one under construction.


Another fifty Lower 9th Ward families are in the process of becoming a Make It Right homeowner.


Posted on Sunday July 26th 2009 at 9:57 pm by Rachel Blunstone. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Things I like about this project: The use of a traditional form and arrangement in a new way. The clean simple lines. The flexibility of the floor plan and relationships between the two units. The colorful, patterned exterior that is made of a common and often boring material.

    Things I don’t like so much: the name, hot links? Makes me think of barbecue, and nothing else.

    Seriously though, a very nice project.

  • Gaston Vega Buccicardi


    It´s so obvious and simple the idea who the project show. The initive “make it right” is a real space for the architect and other disciplines to hepl peopel and make real works.

    Thank you Brad Pitt for the enlighment.


  • eugmir

    More impressive than the architecture produced here is the execution of these houses, corvee labor style. Shame to see the cars left underwater if another flood does hit…perhaps that was another design issue?

  • Design Within Reach furnishings, fine art and flat screen plasmas are just what these poor black families need. Instead of a neighborhood returning to normalcy, let us all enclose them in a large experiment to be gawked at by Starbucks drinking yuppie, Prius driving, “humanitarians”.

    This is actually the first project from “Brad-Pitt-is-an-Architect” series I think is designed well. The renderings just look absurd given the context. Pruit-Igoe 2012.

  • Heid

    Is there no other efective way than stairs? maybe ramp or something, Im thinking about people on wheelchairs etc.

  • I love the space underneath, creates the illusion that the house is floating on air …

  • Overall I really like the project.

    I do question the interior rendering that looks more like an art gallery than a house…. especially with the inclusion of one piece that denotes “PAY NOTHING TILL APRIL”.
    There are too many rental centers, pawn shops, payday loans, et al… that take advantage of those in need. To me this image brings this issue too close to home.

  • I loved the space under the Pruit-Igoe housing too in the center blocks. The pilotis gave them this illusion as if they’re floating. Maybe because of climate change, we should ask all the people in this community to take the bus or train and eliminate cars all together. Pylons on a dock give the dock an illusion of floating too. There are nothing more then long-houses lifted up on columns to avoid floods.

    When will we learn that architectural answers to infrastructure issues don’t solve problems but create new ones? If the levee fails again, and storm surge waves knock the houses off their stilts, are they still “made wrong”.

  • LOW

    Mmmmh… Im actually more concerned with the
    lower part of the house, it just looks like dead space to me.
    Maybe the project could extend an informal use to the lower part
    of the house instead of leaving it as an open basement.

  • Mel

    One rendering shows four two-top tables… is that supposed to be where a family eats dinner? Not only is it trying to be a gallery like Eric mentioned, but apparently a restaurant too.

  • KJS

    Mel, the information given does say that it’s designed so that a family could have a “live-work unit.”

    I agree with other comments that the furnishings shown in the renderings are a rather absurd given the context. However, I think over all it’s a good project & does an excellent job modernizing the local vernacular. The one thing I don’t like is the “patterned” exterior – just looks sloppy to me.

    Regarding the “open basement,” having myself helped with relief efforts in New Orleans, I think leaving the basement open is probably the best idea. Taking care of flooded enclosed basements is very labor-intensive & quite expensive without volunteer help.

  • Stoke Newington

    Really, this is a random decor, cheap swiss chatlet, with a car park underneath and a concrete stairway. The interior spaces are cold and dishuman. It really takes an Architect to love that.


    Noo! This is not I don’t like it or there is something wrong about the overall design, but in 2009 is this the best that can be designed by some of the most known architects?

    I could easily say that all the designs I have seen for “Make It Right” look good or fine (and a little bit the same in a strange way), but I don’t know why I still wonder if they are also Right!(it’s more like “Make It Wrong” for me…):