Who’s snickering about Brad Pitt’s interest in architecture now? The movie star jolted attendees at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual conference in late September by announcing a plan to replace 150 destroyed houses in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward with new, environmentally sustainable ones that cost less than $200,000 each.
Seeking justice for city residents who lost their houses in what he termed an “abysmal” rescue effort, Pitt and his partners formed an organization called Make it Right to hire 13 architectural firms for green designs that fit the local vernacular. He promised that each model will match what residents want to see with what engineers need to provide to protect against climate change and future floods. “Our goal is to bring green technology to the affordable level and not have it look like a Prius,” Pitt said. When attendants laughed nervously, he added: “I own two of them, it’s all right.”