Two years after New Orleans’ lower 9th Ward was swallowed up in Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding still languished, hampered by lack of funds and attention. While filming a movie in New Orleans, Brad Pitt noticed a pink fabric house being used as part of the set. Working with architectural firm GRAFT LLC of Los Angeles for design and planning, in coordination with New Orleans’ Make It Right project (MIR), he kicked off the Pink Project: a hybrid of art, architecture, cinema and media, to create an installation that grabs the imagination. Emotive storyboards and the puzzle pieces to assemble pink fabric houses made up the installation, which were not assembled until enough funds were raised to build a real house in the 9th Ward.
Twitchell Corp., Dothan, Ala., supplied bright pink Diversatex™ Plus, sustainably produced and suitable for exterior use, to raise the symbolic roofs. Marine Tops and Covers of Belle Chasse, La., did the fabrication. (For a complete list of sponsors, visit www.makeitrightnola.org.)
The pink houses, consisting of 429 scattered base “volumes,” formed 150 house volumes at the end of the installation/fund raiser, which lasted five weeks, from Dec. 3, 2007, to Jan. 7, 2008.
“Diversatex Plus is certified by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry LLC as a product that can be completely recovered and re-used (“cradle-to-cradle”). It was coated to withstand the elements, making certain that the pink houses popping up throughout 14 city blocks of New Orleans remained standing—and made a visual statement about the progress in rebuilding a hard-hit neighborhood. For more information, visit www.twitchell.com or www.makeitrightnola.org.