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Hurricane Katrina: The Latest Architecture and News

Media Round-Up: Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years On

09:30 - 29 August, 2015
Media Round-Up: Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years On, © Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock
© Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock

Today marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, setting off what was among the most significant catastrophes to strike the United States in the 21st Century. New Orleans' flood defenses failed, causing the loss of over 1,400 lives and billions of dollars in property damage.

Naturally, such a disaster takes some time to recover from, for individuals but also for a city as a whole, and so for the past decade New Orleans has been a case study for cities to show them how to recover, rebuild and move on - at certain times serving as both an example of good practice and a warning of "what not to do." On the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here's a round-up of stories about the rebuilding of a city from around the web.

Brad Pitt: "I Get This Well of Pride" Over Make It Right's New Orleans Work

14:00 - 22 August, 2015
The Float House / Morphosis, Make It Right. Image © Iwan Baan
The Float House / Morphosis, Make It Right. Image © Iwan Baan

Ten years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf coast of the US, hitting New Orleans the hardest. Two years after the wake of this destruction, after seeing the city's lack of rebuilding progress firsthand, Hollywood star and architecture enthusiast Brad Pitt launched Make It Right, a project set to build 150 houses designed by 20 internationally renowned architects.

Over the past eight years, Make It Right has not only helped to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans—the area struck the hardest by the disaster—but has also began to spread its work to Missouri, Montana, and New Jersey, with more projects coming soon. While the non-profit organization has had success in its endeavors, it has simultaneously faced a great deal of criticism.

In a recent interview with NOLA, Pitt discusses some of these criticisms, reflecting on the growth of the organization, and the changes it has made. Find out about Pitt’s evolving perspective, after the break.

Frank Gehry-designed duplex. Image © Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right Duplex house. Image Courtesy of Atelier Hitoshi Abe Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Image © Irina Vinnitskaya Flow House. Image Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners + 7

Eight Years Later, A Post-Katrina Report Card

18:00 - 14 September, 2013
Eight Years Later, A Post-Katrina Report Card, A landscaped pedestrian path that was part of the construction efforts post-Katrina. Image © Wikimedia Commons
A landscaped pedestrian path that was part of the construction efforts post-Katrina. Image © Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, design charettes involving the Gulf coast community led to many proposals, ranging from the large-scale (establishing Gulfport as a major harbor city) to the more personal (bike paths). Eight years after the fact, many of these projects are still in progress, or have yet to begin - but the outlook remains bright. The Sun-Herald's Michael Newsom explores the background behind these efforts, and explains the hurdles they’ve faced along the way. Read the full piece here.

The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward

01:00 - 8 April, 2013
The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward, The Float House / Morphosis, Make It RIght © Iwan Baan
The Float House / Morphosis, Make It RIght © Iwan Baan

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 how amenities in the neighborhood are low and how 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.

Find out more after the break.