Can Ugly Homes Make It Right?

A home from Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation
A home from Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation

There's nothing ugly about Brad Pitt or his desire to rebuild homes for Katrina victims through his foundation, Make It Right.

However, some grumble that the ultra-modern green buildings are, well, fugly.

The New York Times just covered the newly-built community locally dubbed the "Brad Pitt houses." Despite all the effort and good intentions some feel the homes might have ignored one basic need of its intended audience: the comfort of the familiar.

The architectural diversity displayed in the first 15 completed houses please the design crowd but lacks reference to the area's history. As the article states, "Indeed, the houses seem better suited to an exhibition of avant-garde architecture than to a neighborhood struggling to recover." The article quotes Jennifer Pearl, a broker in the ninth-ward as saying, "...had [Pitt] come here with houses that looked like what had been here before, he probably could have had four times, five times as many houses up by now."

Great design is commendable, but does it lose value when it destroys its stated objective, that of returning normalcy to those who have suffered? Design and building results from another non-profit suggests that it might.