Built on Stilts: Images from the New Ninth Ward in New Orleans
photos by trevor reichman
Sustainability incorporates lessons leaned from history in order to improve on design to avoid fatal flaws and in this case to prolong the life span of a structure as it relates to its surroundings.
Even though the new homes in the 9th Ward include solar panels, energy efficient everything, and other elements that we think of when we think of sustainability, perhaps the single most important feature on these homes are their stilts. If the ocean should ever intrude again, these new homes could be high enough off the ground to clear the floodwaters, a simple solution to end the debate about whether or not to rebuild the 9th Ward at all.
Read further for more images from the Make it Right Foundation, Founded by Brad Pitt in Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans.
almost finished home, funded by the make it right foundation. photo by trevor reichman
The brand new, modern, eco homes being erected at a rapid pace are redefining the 9th Ward and are being built for the original home owners who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
photo by trevor reichman
While there is the potential controversy about who gets these homes, how they are prioritized, and how it will economically reshape the affordability of the 9th ward in New Orleans, the focus of this project is on the impressive and innovative green aspects of the project itself and how it serves as a model for building a new neighborhood from the ground up in a sustainable way.
The new home designs are by a combination of local, national, and international architects. Some of them are a bit eccentric. Hey, it's New Orleans.
image designs from make it right
What would be the alternative? Government designed housing? Something that looks like this?
The Make it Right Foundation, founded by Brad Pitt, is well on its way to fulfilling its goal. At the time that this article was written, the 84th house, out of 150, has been paid for through sponsorships and donations. The founder explains in this video that houses are not a hand out, but rather a "hand up". The stilts help with that goal too.
The 9th Ward is not the only eco redesign for a devastated community. Also being re-worked is a town demolished by a tornado who's name, Greensburg, serves as a prophesy for its 2nd life.