Coming Up Rosy
David Sokol -- Interior Design, 5/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
In New Orleans, where 14 residential blocks of the Lower Ninth Ward were wiped bare by Hurricane Katrina, scores of glowing pink tents recently sprouted. Conceived by Brad Pitt to raise awareness of Make It Right, his reconstruction organization, the five-week installation of abstract structures was meant to symbolize the 150 houses that the actor and design aficionado plans to build for displaced residents.
Pitt called on his friends at Graft, an architecture firm, and L'Observatoire International, a lighting consultant, to realize his attention-getting idea of erecting one tent for every $150,000 donated—that's the average price of a Make It Right house. Set up in a jumble across the site, the cubes and wedges of pink eco-friendly Earthtex were supported by aluminum frames and internally lit by photovoltaic-powered fluorescent tubes. "They're like Monopoly houses," Graft principal Lars Krückeberg notes.
Make It Right has raised $12 million so far, and 13 designs for sustainable houses by such firms as Morphosis and Shigeru Ban Architects are available for New Orleanians to choose from. Now that the installation has come down, the desolate landscape left behind will slowly begin to revive. Thanks to donations covering the cost of 81 actual houses, construction begins this summer.