[photo courtesy Wayne Troyer]
A pleasant surprise was waiting in the Life Without Buildings inbox this morning: construction photos of the Make it Right homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Make it Right is a program established by actor/architectural hobbyist Brad Pitt that has been designed to be a catalyst for redevelopment in the Lower 9 — a neighborhood many people thought would (and should) never be rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. Make it Right set a goal of building 150 new homes, all of which consider Cradle-to-Cradle sensibilities and employ methods of construction that make the buildings easy to replicate. Each house is built for $150,000 and paid for with donations — many via the project’s website. MIR works with local community organizations to find residents for the slowly emerging neighborhood, and once they’re approved, the new residents select the home they wish to build from a 13 different designs by local, national, and international architecture firm. So to some extent, the neighborhood is shaped by the people who live there. While it’s probably safe to assume that the almost insulting design by MVRDV will never get built, some of the more conventional choices are already well under construction.