||Chad Coronato, Astra Freet, Thomas Jardim, Hyung S. Kang, Andy Kim, Viren Patel, John Rago, Richard Rush, Patricia Sabater, Matthew Schott
The nOLa studios are part of a two-year planning and rebuilding effort by the Pratt Institute and NJiT/SOA funded by a HUD/COPC grant for neighborhood planning and design studies. They focus on the typical post-WW II neighborhoods of New Orleans East. The initial studio, RETROFITTING the RANCHER, focused on the large number of restorable tract houses in Pine’s Village to devise rebuilding strategies that are sustainable, environmentally sensitive, and survivable for both property and persons. The strategies assume basic infrastructure restoration, as well as future flooding and habitation—an approach to rebuilding the city based on data-driven criteria and a reasonable assessment of risk. The projects also assume incremental, community-based rebuilding and redevelopment, recognizing the immediate need to restore displaced and dispirited families to their homes, as well as longer-term issues of a vulnerable and sinking land.
Given that the vast number of flood-damaged homes—and the vast majority of housing in greater New Orleans and the country at large—are found in slab-on-grade developments evincing dubious if not hostile environmental awareness, the nOLa studios next envision the construction of a model block in New Orleans East to show how retrofits and linked yards can transform the performance and allure of neighborhoods across the city, the region and the nation.