Semi-detached typology: Housing charity Make it Right and Gehry Partner’s duplex responded to a delay in rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, inundating 80 per cent of the city and displacing 800,000 people. Reconstruction has been slow, and criticised for neglecting the worst affected: poor black residents of lower-lying districts. NGOs stepped into the breach, including the housing charity Make It Right, which was founded in response to the delayed rebuilding. Of the 100 homes it has completed, a duplex designed by Gehry stands out - not least because its inhabitants chose to paint it pink. The wooden-framed building is divided into a three-bedroomed home at the front and a one-bedroom rental unit at the rear, and is a recognisably local type, with no fewer than six porches. It stands on stilts to protect it from future floods, and has a large roof terrace shaded by a solar-panelled roof, advertising the energy efficiency of the building and offering an alternative source of power in case of an emergency.