In 2005, a group of students conceived of a design/build program at Tulane University, not knowing that Hurricane Katrina would give rebuilding in New Orleans a greater weight and urgency. Since that year, the URBANbuild program has worked to help revitalize New Orleans neighborhoods that faced particular hardships both before and after Hurricane Katrina, one design/build project at a time. When designing these homes, students are taught to respect and preserve the scale and character of the neighborhood by building new houses that possess many of the qualities of old New Orleans architecture. URBANbuild’s homes are uniquely appropriate to their setting, and the program’s longstanding commitment to the New Orleans community makes it as much a transformative experience for architecture students as it is for the city.
CONTEXT OF THE PROGRAM
Our program has produced habitable structures for families within some of the city‘s most struggling neighborhoods, as well as a body of research. The chief aim of URBANbuild students and faculty—to provide higher quality design projects to underprivileged communities with an awareness of affordability—could not be achieved without key community partners and organizations. The majority of completed structures have been realized in collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans (NHS), but other projects have been developed with the Make It Right Organization of New Orleans (MIR), as well as with Harmony Neighborhood Development.Read More
In the summer of 2005, a small group of students and faculty conceived of a design/build program to address the deteriorating conditions in many neighborhoods of urban New Orleans, and the URBANbuild program was created to provide students with the opportunity to work collectively on the design, development, and construction of affordable housing prototypes. The goal was to provide struggling neighborhoods with some sense of progress and value.Read More
New Orleans is a city with a rich and unique architectural and cultural heritage, and its passionate, creative citizenry faces a complex range of urban and environmental challenges. The people and the qualities of this singular place combine to make the city a dynamic environment for the study of architecture and design.
Since 2005, Tulane’s URBANbuild program has been working to help revitalize New Orleans neighborhoods that faced particular hardships both before and after Hurricane Katrina, one design/build project at a time.Read More