After the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the fall of 2005, entire towns, neighborhoods, and ecologies were destroyed. What remains is a complex web of social, economic, environmental, and cultural issues that demand new strategies for inhabiting this land.

During the spring semester of 2006, the University of Virginia School of Architecture incorporated these issues into the research and studio work of faculty and students, as well as undertaking hands-on projects in Louisiana and Mississippi. Building After Katrina is the result of that intense focus on a set of design problems. In this vibrant collection, leading architects and theorists such as William Moorish, Robin Dripps, and Peter Waldman, among others, present innovative strategies developed with their students for rebuilding Gulf Coast communities. While it is a critical time for the future of the area that inspired this work, the work itself is deliberately applicable to global design problems: How does one design an intervention for a specific culture, ecology, and time? How do we respond to both disaster relief and long-term restoration? How does the design profession advance work at the intersection of architecture, landscape, planning, and preservation? How do we propose designs that improve the environmental underpinnings of a place while serving the diverse cultures that shape public space? And how can the role of the design professional become an essential voice in shaping policies that affect our physical and cultural landscape?

Building After Katrina defines these questions broadly and offers—in a large-format, full-color book complete with numerous drawings and photographs—a set of fresh approaches that will challenge architects, planners, policy makers, and citizens alike.

Distributed for the University of Virginia School of Architecture

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