The yellow cottage with a tin roof is exactly the size of the temporary trailers the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides to victims of hurricanes and other disasters, and it costs about the same: less than $35,000.
But where a FEMA trailer looks grim and dispiriting - who wants to live next to one, let alone in one? - this house, known as the Katrina Cottage, is airy, bright and charming.
"I'm designing affordable housing," said Marianne Cusato, 31, the architect who designed the cottage. But developers who toured it, she said, were telling her they want to use the plans for upscale beach cottages or mountain resorts.
"The only reason not to do this is that it's not the current conventional practice," said Cusato, a Notre Dame graduate who has just opened her own practice in New York. "But we can do this. Sometimes it takes a major event to change things, make us recalibrate."When I heard that the solution proposed for housing those displaced by Katrina was to buy them trailers, my blood continued to boil at the idiocy of our government as it had been doing pretty much constantly during coverage of the disaster. So they're going to spend a bunch of money on producing short-term housing that no one wants to live in? Grrrreat.
This, though, is really awesome, creative thinking. I'm impressed.
UPDATE: If my text isn't very compelling, check out these pictures (by Sandy Sorlien) from the article: