Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’s piece entitled “If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation – numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million. Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘s article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling. Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.
Read on for more on the Make It Right debate…
Over the past five years, the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans has been realizing its commitment to build 150 affordable, green storm resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward. The foundation, established by Brad Pitt, has completed seventy-five homes with the time and efforts donated by local and international architects such as Gehry Partners, Morphosis, Kieran Timberlake, Pugh+Scarpa, and McDonough+Partners.
More on Make it Right and the homes after the break.
Architects: Voorsanger Architects PC, New York, NY
Location: 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Owner/Client: The National World War II Museum Foundation, Inc.
Design Principal: Bartholomew Voorsanger
Lead Design: Martin Stigsgaard, Masayuki Sono
Museum Consultant: Peggy A. Loar
Design Team: Peter Miller, James Macdonald, Radoslaw Krysztofiak,Andrea Wiedemann, Mark Wagner, Reema Pathak, Van Hsin-Hung Tsao, Issei Suma, Won Jun Jung, Anastasiya Konopitskaya
Additional Competition Staff: Chieko Takahashi, Yoonkee Hong, Sabrina Schollmeyer, Victor Viera, Omar Renteria
Associate Architect: Mathes Brierre Architects, New Orleans, LA
Co-Chairman: Edward C. Mathes
Project Team: Peter Priola, Tony Alfortish, Nichole Chauvin, Scott Evans, C. H. Palm Jr., Frank Herdliska, Joyce Bergman, Johannah Fernandez, Vivien Yu, Vicki Cusimano, Robert Swan, Jim Opitz
Exhibition Design: Gallagher & Associates
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber LLC
Landscape Architect: Olin Partnership
Programming: Lord Cultural Resources
Photographs: Thomas Damgaard
The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – Detroit, Phoenix, and New Orleans – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior. While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.
Bayou-luminescence, one of ten site-specific installations commissioned by the New Orleans chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was a collaboration between Igor Siddiqui, the principal of the Austin-based design practice ISSSStudio and Matt Hutchinson, the principal of San-Francisco-based firm PATH. The project was included as a part of DesCours, the annual architecture and art event on view at various locations in city from December 2 through 11, 2011. More images and architects’ description after the break.
DesCours is a free, public, ten-night architecture and art event now in its fifth year, held December 2-December 11 in New Orleans.
This event invites internationally renowned architects and artists to create architecture installations within ‘hidden’ locations in the heart of New Orleans, including private courtyards, rooftops, abandoned buildings and walkways, all locations normally unseen, inaccessible or unused by the public.
More information on the event after the break.
Fundraising is now underway for a $23.9 million green makeover of Richardson Memorial Hall, the century old home of the Tulane University School of Architecture.
The renovation will include maximizing the light and airiness of the building, installing solar panels and cisterns to collect rainwater for irrigation and, possibly, plumbing use, and many other sustainable strategies. Additionally, IBM Smart Building technology will monitor and adjust the building’s water consumption, lighting and other systems to optimize their performance while lowering the building’s carbon footprint. More information on the project after the break.
Check out a preview we spotted on PublicInterestDesign of Tulane University’s School of Architecture URBANbuild program, a total collaborative effort of “individuals, organizations, and businesses committed to revitalizing New Orleans’ rich cultural and architectural heritage.” Working with Professor Byron Mouton, Make It Right and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, students have designed and built several LEED-certified homes such as URBANbuild 04 featured in the clip. This particular residence is situated in Central City of New Orleans and completely breaks with the traditional “shotgun homes” that line the streets. The young homeowner, Tami, appreciates the students’ talents and abilities to go beyond what the neighborhood, and even the city, is comfortable with to create a new urban identity. Challenged by Mouton to introduce new ideas, the students have created a beautiful residence that they can certainly be proud of and one that Tami loves View her story and a bit of the project’s journey in the video.
Tulane School of Architecture has announced their 2011-2012 school year lecture series featuring Rafael Moneo, Billie Tsien, Adam Yarinsky and others, including a string of lectures on Urban Innovations co-sponsored by The Murphy Institute. More information on the lectures after the break.
Now in it’s 5th year, DesCours will be holding its annual event in New Orleans from December 2nd-December 11th, 2011. DesCours is a ten-day, contemporary architecture and art event that looks towards the future in showcasing experimental, cutting-edge new media and interactive installations while embracing New Orleans rich cultural heritage. During DesCours, internationally recognized architects, designers and artists transform unique, hidden spaces within the French Quarter and Central Business District into destination places for visitors and locals alike.
There are a total of 11-13 artists and architects (individuals and teams) that will be selected through this proposal process, which is due by August 19th at 5pm, and by invitation to participate by creating installations for French Quarter courtyards, downtown building lobbies, rooftops, walkways and other ‘hidden’ New Orleans spaces. Overall, we are seeking installations that react and respond both to the historic nature of the sites, and to the public audience that views them. More event description after the break.
Comprehensive, Integrated, Sustainable Water Management System for the Greater New Orleans Region / Waggonner & Ball Architects
Waggonner & Ball Architects have been chosen to develop the water management strategy for Greater New Orleans. It was announced on March 21 that they were awarded the contract from Greater New Orleans, Inc. to develop the Comprehensive, Integrated, Sustainable Water Management System for the Greater New Orleans Region which includes the east banks of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes.
Tulane University’s School of Architecture program has joined forces with IBM Intelligent Buildings Management and Johnson Controls to develop a Smarter Building pilot program. Tulane’s first project aims to transform Richardson Memorial Hall, home of the School of Architecture, into a living laboratory. The retrofit of this historic building will not just create a more efficiently adapted building but will also provide an opportunity for architecture students to gain a unique skill set coupled with practical experience.
Hosting the 6th Annual Green Homes and Sustainable Communities Conference, the city of New Orleans will bring together a variety of individuals from financiers and policy makers to developers and technical experts all focused on redefining affordable housing and community development. In addition to the symposium’s national focus, this year’s event will highlight some of the Gulf Coast’s most innovative green affordable housing projects. The Green Homes and Sustainable Communities Conference will be next month, July 14th and 15th, further details can be found here.
New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward represents a rather new phenomenon in American urbanism; physical tabula rasa paired with a metaphysical fabric of emotion, history, and tragedy that is no less significant than the physical emptiness. That emptiness has boldy been broken by the Make It Right foundation. Regardless of one’s opinion of their planning or design practices, the context that MIR has created in the 9th Ward has it’s own richness that is redefining the neighborhood’s physical presence while ensuring the continuity of the metaphysical through resident outreach. It is this new context that should now be respected and preserved. Unwittingly, MIR has sparked and nurtured the NOLA[modern] movement, defined by contemporary material, formal, and tectonic gestures with a thoughtful respect for regional typologies. This proposal by GOATstudio, for the DesignByMany challenge which ArchDaily sponsored, is the next entry in the soon to be expanding catalogue of NOLA[modern]. More images and description after the break.
The J‐House uses a historically standard New Orleans housing lot: 30×150 feet. The original site for the J‐House is located in a designated flood zone as is common with many housing sites throughout the Southern Louisiana region. Recent FEMA studies have concluded that a vast range of New Orleans housing sites are currently 9‐feet under sea level. The original site for the J‐House is no different.
Architect: AEDS | Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio
Location: 918 Upperline Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Project Team: Ammar Eloueini, Jana Masset, David Merlin, Dan Kautz, Jamie Lookabaugh, Surawat Hanthawichai
Architect of Record: Wisznia A+D
Sturctural Engineer: Buro Happold New York, Craft Engineering Studio New York
Photographs: Courtesy of AEDS