“I really believe in what Brad is doing for the community and was honored to be included. 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.”
Much has been written about Frank Gehry’s pink and lavender contribution to Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation—namely how surprisingly unlike a Gehry structure it is—and we’re as surprised as anyone by its humble loveliness. But mainly we’re just happy to see an architect of Gehry’s stature willing to put his talent and time towards something other than glamorous titanium-clad buildings of international renown. If architecture is, in its most fundamental form, shelter, why, we’re left to wonder, do so few major architects bother with the business of building shelter for those who need it most?
Make It Right, founded by Pitt to build houses for those left homeless by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is committed to not just building, but building intelligently and sustainably, which is not as easy as it sounds. But Gehry, it seems, has managed it nicely—the house has platinum LEED certification—by creating a thoughtful, efficient two-family duplex that reflects the needs of its occupants, pays homage to New Orleans’ architectural tradition, and doesn’t reference his own famous work in any obvious way. From an architect as famous and celebrated as Frank Gehry, we could scarcely ask for more.