Photographer James Ewing said he felt like a voyeur while touring New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, where 150 super-green homes are being built with help from the Make it Right Foundation. Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in 2005, destroying 4,000 homes in the neighborhood and displacing thousands of residents. A frequent visitor to New Orleans, Brad Pitt founded the organization in order to rebuild the city with a series of affordable, environmentally-friendly homes that will be able to withstand the next big storm.
Shigeru Ban, BiLD, Hitoshi Abe, and Adjaye Associates are among the designers who have volunteered their time and services to bring the Lower 9th Ward back to life, as well as Ewing’s favorites. Albeit minimalist and restricted by budget, each home has been built using cutting-edge construction materials and techniques to optimize their environmental, energy and inclement weather performance. The homes are expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council.
In addition to building homes, the Make it Right Foundation has encouraged the community to establish community gardens, plant native plant species, dig rainwater collection depressions and green their roofs. All of these interventions will both improve the Lower 9th Ward’s aesthetic but also help to manage storm water runoff. Although uncomfortable with “his role as voyeur,” Ewing says that “the world probably needs more projects like this.”
Via Arch Daily