CRISIS > a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, environmental, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change

Sunday, November 19, 2006

CS13__Cusato's Katrina Cottage

An immediate response to the FEMA trailer park, the resulting efforts of housing for displaced peoples from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina, equipped and motivated designers as well as other concerned individuals to seek other design alternatives and solutions. What has become known as the Katrina Cottage, designed by Marianne Cusato and Eric Moser, is one of the resulting products that emerged from a design charette organized by the Congress for the New Urbanism called the Mississippi Renewal Forum.

The result is a neo-trad vernacular cottage that is intended to be a ‘restarter’ home for those displaced by Katrina. The idea is that these units could be customized and placed on a larger lot with the expectation that it would either be added onto and made into a larger family home or instead be reprogrammed into a guest cottage or accessory dwelling. Because of their small size, they are expected to be built quickly. The units have been categorized and marketed as an affordable housing solution, though being priced at more than $100/SF may raise reasonable questioning and is most likely attributed to a hyped “cute” factor. Four models have been prototyped and can be prefab or constructed on-site. Lowe’s will offer the ‘materials package’ beginning in Spring 2007.


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