Can you imagine a customizable house designed to survive a natural disaster? Architect Marianne Cusato did and won the first People’s Design Award from the Smithsonian earlier this fall.
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina sparked an interest in affordable housing. People in home construction came together to explore ways to help victims of hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters.
Cusato designed a small home—about the size of an apartment—that could later be expanded as desired. These homes would also be resistant to storms and mildew. They are ideal for many people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina because they are affordable and weather-resistant.
Home Front Homes has also designed a home that can literally “weather the storm.” Their design can outlast total submersion in water and can hold its own in 140 mph winds. If flooding occurred, the homeowner would have to get rid of wet furniture, but the house would survive.
All of the designs managed to connect to local culture by including features that are popular in the region: wood siding, wood windows, front porches, and picket fences.
A national retailer appreciated these designs so much, they decided to make them available in their stores. These houses range from 300-1800 square feet.