In 2007, actor Brad Pitt’s organization, Make It Right, unveiled its plan to build new homes in New Orleans’ devastated Lower Ninth Ward and hired a roster of modern architects to conceive the designs. Since then, lot owners have been selecting designs by David Adjaye, Shigeru Ban, KieranTimberlake, Trahan Architects, and other locally and internationally renowned architects. Yet future homeowners have not embraced the schemes equally. In fact, none had selected the floatable 1,000-square-foot, single-family house conceived by Morphosis Architects, so studio founder Thom Mayne, FAIA, executed it himself.
Last October, Pitt's foundation unveiled a fully constructed version of that structure in New Orleans. Morphosis worked with UCLA graduate students to design and build the submersible chassis, which was shipped to the Lower Ninth Ward in July. The remaining components were assembled on site.