Frank Gehry’s Vernacular New Orleans House; FRANK. GEHRY. VERNACULAR?!? WHAT?!?

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Famed architect Frank Gehry has completed his first home for Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation. Located in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, LA, this two-family home is a new addition in a neighborhood that encountered some of the worst damage in the aftermath of the flooding during Hurricane Katrina.  The house also conforms to LEED Platinum Standards, which was due to the inclusion of weathering-resistant materials for the siding, an array of solar panels on the roof — along with the high-efficiency roofing– and many other eco-friendly products.  What make this piece of news newsworthy to me is that this house doesn’t seem like something that was designed by Gehry, as the so-called “starchitect” is known for his structures deemed “outlandish,” “over-the-top,” “attention-seeking,” and typically void of representing local vernacular. [PICTURES TO BE ADDED LATER; WORDPRESS EXPERIENCING ISSUES WITH DETAILED POST EDITING]

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Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation contacted 21 architects to design affordable and sustainable housing for New Orleans, including names such as Shigeru Ban, David Adjaye, Hitoshi Abe, Morphosis, and MVRDV (if you’re familiar with their work, it won’t be too hard to point out thier house; trust me, I’ve seen it), among others.  Gehry himself discusses had he was able to corral himself from going overboard, saying that: “I wanted to make a house that I would like to live in and one that responded to the history, vernacular and climate of New Orleans. I love the colors that the homeowner chose. I could not have done it better.” To some, the house may seem ordinary or uninteresting, however it still presents some gorgeous interior spaces, as well as the equally wonderful outdoor spaces; each unit contains a 500+ square foot covered roof terrace, including several other terrace and porch spaces. It appears that the firm, Gehry Partners, were able to pull off their intentions according to their project statement, which said: “Of the components of local vernacular, the majority of the community expressed a desire for quality outdoor space, especially the garden.”

[Thanks Make it Right NOLA and Archinet]

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