Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Brad Pitt Gets Mad Love From New Orleans, Making It Right

We just can't get over The Storm.
We just can't.
Brad Pitt: "These are people who did everything right, according to the American dream. They got jobs and they saved their money. They bought homes. They raised their kids in these communities. And it's all been wiped out, wiped out, and they are in this state of limbo and it is dismal."
The pink houses, the art installation, right now symbolically represents the destruction and the chaos after the storm and which continues today. ... We chose pink because it screams loud. We want to get attention and to say that we can actually turn this around.
And we're asking people to join in with us on this "Adopt a House" campaign. We're asking foundations, corporations. I would love to see church groups, individuals, come in and adopt a house, adopt 10 houses, adopt 100 houses, adopt a corner of a house, adopt a solar panel, adopt a tree -- whatever you're comfortable with.
For every $150,000 that comes in, I guarantee a family will be returning to their home, and not just any affordable home, but a home that's intelligent, that respects your hard-earned money, that respects your health and respects the health of the environment.
Mr. Pitt said he had been attached to New Orleans for more than a decade. “I’ve always had a fondness for this place — it’s like no other,” he said. “Seeing the frustration firsthand made me want to return the kindness this city has shown me.”
Rather than bemoan the slow pace of redevelopment in the Ninth Ward, Mr. Pitt said he decided to address the problem directly by teaming with William McDonough, the green design expert; Graft, a Los Angeles architecture firm; and Cherokee, an investment firm based in Raleigh, N.C., that specializes in sustainable redevelopment. John Williams of New Orleans is the executive architect for the project.
“If you have this blank slate and this great technology out there, what better test than low-income housing?” Mr. Pitt said. “It’s got to work at all levels to really be viable.”

When Make It Right was announced at the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in September, Mr. Pitt pledged to match $5 million in contributions to the project, as did Steve Bing, the philanthropist. Nine other firms — all of whom donated their services — are involved, including Adjaye Associates; Billes Architecture; BNIM Architects; Constructs; Eskew & Dumez & Ripple; MVRDV; Pugh and Scarpa Architecture; Shigeru Ban Architects; and Trahan Architects. “We wanted to have a mixture of voices,” Mr. Pitt said.
Beyond serving a public need, Mr. Pitt — who has a longstanding interest in architecture — was eager to see what the designers came up with. “I was most curious about advancing the discussion further,” he said. “That was certainly one of the benefits of this exercise. There is no other reason to call on these great minds if you’re just going to shackle them.”
The green building elements will reduce upkeep costs by at least 75 percent, Mr. Pitt said, and reduce some of the problems that devastated the Lower Ninth Ward during Katrina, when multiple levee breaks forced thousands of people from their homes.
The architects were each asked to design a 1,200-square-foot house for about $150,000, with Make It Right to help with the financing. The houses had to be built five to eight feet off the ground, with a front porch and three bedrooms.
To learn more about CLICK HERE.Make It Right,

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