Brad Pitt has accomplished a lot throughout the course of his lengthy career. However, what he’s been doing off-camera is now attracting the attention of the media in the wake of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The devastating, Category 5 hurricane, which left 80 percent of the city of New Orleans, LA under water in August 2005, disrupted the lives of millions, with many victims still struggling today. But, with the help of the Moneyball actor, there are 109 families now on a substantial road to recovery.
According to the Daily Mail, the Academy Award-winning actor has been working to help rebuild homes that were destroyed in the Lower Ninth Ward. However, the restoration process didn’t just involve rebuilding homes. These particular homes that have been built are hurricane resistant, eco-friendly homes that will diminish the possibilities of the same damages occurring in the event of another tumultuous storm.
It has been reported that Brad Pitt, an ecologist and architecture enthusiast, enlisted the help of some of the region’s top architectural designers including Shigeru Ban, Thom Mayne, and Frank Gehry, to draft home plans that would correlate with environmentally advanced, cost-efficient structures. The actor also founded a non-profit organization to ensure the plans were brought to fruition. During a phone interview with the Times-Picayune, Pitt shared how the accomplishment makes him feel and how empowering it is to contribute to the well-being of others.
“I’ll tell you, every time I drive over the Claiborne bridge, no matter what frustration I might be dealing with at the moment, I get this well of pride when I see this little oasis of color and the solar panels,” Pitt said. “I drive into the neighborhood and I see people on their porch,” Pitt said, “and I ask them how is their house treating them? And they say, ‘Good.’ And I say what’s your utility bill? And they’ll throw something out like, ’24 bucks’ or something, and I feel fantastic. It’s a reminder of why we’re there. It’s a reminder of why we push like we push. It makes it all worthwhile.”
Pitt, also a part-time New Orleans resident, also doted on the impressive team of architects who volunteered to make the project a big success according to Nola.com. “Listen, we were very fortunate that they would come in, but they felt the need as well,” Pitt said of his stellar team of volunteer architects.
“Actually, this is the definition of architecture: It is solving problems through design. And, again, we’re not talking about aesthetics; we’re talking about function, and that is the holy grail of architecture. So I was grateful, but it wasn’t surprising to me for them to jump in and want to tackle this and find solutions for this. Especially with everything we were witnessing on the news and the suffering of the people.”
Although Pitt will not be in the city for the official anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, his contribution to the restoration of the city makes his presence quite clear.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]