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Chelsea Clinton speaks outside the current residence, which is unsalvageable and slated for demolition.
Photo Credit: Max Orenstein / Clinton Foundation

Chelsea Clinton Joins AIA, Partners, to Dedicate ‘Resilient House’
By Cooper Martin, Director, Resilient Communities

    This weekend, almost one-year after Hurricane Sandy struck New York, the AIA marked a major milestone in its effort to help communities build back better after disaster and demonstrate the value of design. Chelsea Clinton helped to host a ceremonial groundbreaking for the ‘Resilient House,’ one of three winning entries for Designing Recovery, a post-disaster housing competition and the first entry to be slated for construction. The house will be located in Far Rockaway in Queens, New York. (see coverage of the winners in Architect Magazine).

    The competition was run by the AIA as part of a Commitment to Action with the Clinton Global Initiative. It sought to improve the standard of practice in post-disaster housing by soliciting design ideas that were resilient, efficient, and affordable. For the commitment, the AIA teamed up with the St. Bernard Project, Architecture for Humanity, Make It Right, and Dow Building Solutions to ensure the ideas made it off of the drafting boards and into the real world.

    AIA Vice President Russ Davidson, AIA spoke on behalf of the Institute explaining that architectural services “are never more necessary and valuable than in a post-disaster situation.” He also thanked the AIA’s partners for making the project possible, noting that by “hosting a design ideas competition that was directly tied to rebuilding we are able to help families recover, but we're also able to improve the standard of practice for post-disaster housing.”

    ‘Resilient House’ image by Sustainable.TO Architects. Toronto, ON

    The St. Bernard Project will manage construction of the house. Like many other groups, SBP has been actively repairing and retrofitting homes that were partially damaged by the storm but this will be the first new build for a home that was unsalvageable.

    Also in attendance were several architects from Sustainable.TO. The Toronto-based firm who submitted the design is now collaborating with St. Bernard Project to deliver the project, which is scheduled for completion in July. It is a process that SBP hopes to repeat with other competition entries.

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