In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment.
To demonstrate replicability, Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, to prove that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hopes that this project will be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans. Having listened to one former resident's plea to help "make this right," Pitt was inspired to name the project "Make It Right" (MIR).
The architects were given a typology study that included traditional New Orleans housing types such as the Shotgun, the Camelback and the Creole Cottage along with current ideas and recommendations for the target area in the Lower 9th Ward. The MIR team produced a set of guidelines for the houses that set metrics for the final design to insure that the specific goals of the MIR organizations were met. The team is also using Cradle to Cradle thinking to guide and inspire design and materials selection for new homes in the Lower 9th Ward. The four main guiding principles for the designs are: Safety, Affordability, Sustainability & High design quality.
Watch and learn more about MIR on Larry King Live, this Wed., Dec. 2nd at 9pm EST