In the year since hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast, we’ve seen every approach and proposal under the sun for rebuilding. Competitions and charettes and forums and of course the notorious celebrity rescue squads. It’s good to see this much movement in all its forms, but it’s best to see real work happening on the ground. Architecture for Humanity just launched the Biloxi Model Home Program, and it’s all about getting real. Immediately after the storms, AFH began making plans, raising funds and soliciting volunteer hours for relief and reconstruction. While much attention was pointed towards New Orleans, AFH was talking to the communities of East Biloxi. The Biloxi Model Home Program lays out an agenda for pairing disaster-struck families with architects, designers and engineers who can help them rebuild their homes in an affordable, sustainable way that considers local codes and a changing climate.
According to the press release: “The pilot program is unique in that it offers families the opportunity to work one on one with architects and design professionals giving them access to expertise and design talent.” This expertise and design talent showed itself through an initial round of twelve architectural firms who developed proposals for the Model Home Program. Of those twelve, five final teams will be selected to implement their designs in Biloxi in early 2007.
All of the concepts utilize “the latest in materials research, disaster mitigation and sustainable building techniques,” says AFH, “We see this as an opportunity for architects to help set the bar for new construction in the area.”