On the Ground in New Orleans

On the Ground in New Orleans

By David A. Greene
In keeping with today's impromptu New Orleans theme, Luke Weldon Perry's blog, The Incremental House, is featuring a photo-travelogue of the architect's recent trip through New Orleans (via Bolivia) that's worth a look. It's remarkable not only for Perry's on-the-ground insights about the successes and (more often) failings of the Global Green initiative and Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, but also for his snapshots of the star-architect-designed houses those charities have erected.

The houses are seen on the fly and in situ, and definitely not as depicted in architectural renderings and PR materials. In Perry's photos, the Kieran Timberlake and GRAFT houses look like bizarre spaceships amid the flattened landscape of the Lower Ninth Ward. He contrasts the cutting-edge green technology and foreign-looking design of these one-offs, made by architects whose usual clients demand uniqueness, with the more pedestrian Habitat for Humanity homes in nearby Musician’s Village. "They are all the same," writes Perry of the Habitat houses, "But, they are getting built and people are living in them."


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