Best known for the epic, swooping lines and shimmering exteriors of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, architect Frank Gehry is hardly associated with smaller-scale residential projects–especially those coated in light pink and purple paint.
But the latest high-profile Gehry creation, unveiled last week in New Orleans, is such a structure. And it’s the only Gehry home in Louisiana and one of only 22 Gehry-designed houses in the United States. Designed for actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, the duplex is the latest in a series of striking new dwellings meant to offer families affected by Hurricane Katrina a fresh place to live–and thrive–for years to come.
The multi-family home, which features one two-bedroom unit and a one-bedroom unit, is designed so that each of the two adjacent houses experiences maximum privacy. The 1,780 square-foot home also features a number of earth-conscious details. These include solar panels that multi-task as a waterproof canopy, as well as a shading device for the decks on the rooftop. In addition, Gehry and his colleagues included a highly energy efficient central heating and air conditioning system and a tankless water heater. The carpeting, cabinetry, kitchen countertops, and wall paint are all environmentally friendly as well. The wood used in the frame, the siding, and windows and doors are all made of highly durable materials.