New Orleans city planner Brad Pitt?
By M&C US News Dec 3, 2007, 16:52 GMT
11/11/2007 - Brad Pitt - © Solarpix / PR Photos
Scheduled to appear Wednesday on Larry King's CNN show, actorvist Brad Pitt is using his celebrity power for good in attempting to rebuild New Orleans.
Some revolutionary designs proposed by by 13 architecture firms commissioned by the actor Brad Pitt include a floating house designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis in Los Angeles, a vine house for coolness by James Timberlake of KieranTimberlake Associates in Philadelphia and Steven B. Bingler of Concordia's house with wide front steps ideal for a traditional crawfish boil.
All of these designs were created a bid to help rebuild New Orleans’s impoverished Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The project, called Make It Right, calls for building 150 affordable, environmentally sound houses over the next two years.
Pitt said the residents of the neighborhood had been homeless long enough. “They’re coming up on their third Christmas,” he said.
Pitt said he had been attached to New Orleans for more than a decade. “I’ve always had a fondness for this place — it’s like no other,” he said. “Seeing the frustration firsthand made me want to return the kindness this city has shown me.”
“If you have this blank slate and this great technology out there, what better test than low-income housing?” Pitt said. “It’s got to work at all levels to really be viable.”
When Make It Right was announced at the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in September, Pitt pledged to match $5 million in contributions to the project, as did billionaire Steve Bing.
The New York Times reports that nine other firms which included Adjaye Associates; Billes Architecture; BNIM Architects; Constructs; Eskew & Dumez & Ripple; MVRDV; Pugh and Scarpa Architecture; Shigeru Ban Architects; and Trahan Architects all donated their services.
The architects were each asked to design a 1,200-square-foot house for about $150,000, with Make It Right to help with the financing. The houses had to be built five to eight feet off the ground, with a front porch and three bedrooms.
Pitt is asking foundations, corporations and individuals to contribute to the project by adopting one house, several houses or a portion of a house through the project Web site, makeitrightnola.org. “You can adopt a tankless water heater or a solar panel or a tree or a low-flush toilet,” Pitt said. “You can give it to someone for Christmas,” he said.