Biloxi Model Homes

The story of the Biloxi Model Home Program has been compiled into a book, available on Blurb.Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program

Since Hurricane Katrina, Architecture for Humanity has been working throughout the Gulf Coast to help families repair and rebuild their homes. Our funding has supported everything from property surveys, to assessments to creating construction guidelines and standards to the design and construction of homes. Through this program the rehabilitation of hundreds of partially destroyed housing stock is under way. However, for true long-term reconstruction we need to address the way we build in hurricane prone communities.

The goal of the Biloxi Model Home program is to provide design services and financial assistance for the construction of homes that for families in Biloxi, Mississippi whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Families are paired with a team of professional designers who work with them one-on-one to design a new home for their property that is not only affordable but is also sustainable and meets the area’s new building requirements.


Parker Residence design by Brett Zamore Design
Nguyen Residence design by MC2 Architects
Tran Residence design by MC2 Architects
Desporte Residence design by CP+D Workshop
Robinson Residence design by Huff & Gooden Architects
Tyler Residence design by Marlon Blackwell Architect
Odom Residence design by Gulf Coast Community Design Studio

The pilot program is unique in that it offers families the opportunity to work one-on-one with architects and design professionals giving them access to expertise and design talent. Using the latest in materials research, disaster mitigation and sustainable building techniques, we see this as an opportunity for architects to help set the bar for new construction in the area. These designs address sustainability not only from a material and energy use stand point but in a community development sense as well. Setting standards of design and construction at such a critical scale impacts the life of the community itself. By rebuilding responsible homes in a devastated community families have a real base for contributing to the reestablishment of their community, rather than just getting by until the next disaster.

This program approaches reconstruction in a mode that facilitates good design solutions by standardizing processes and partnership strategies as opposed to standardizing design. By this method disaster response programs may be established prior to disaster to allow effective relief in the critical time necessary.

To jump start the program, Architecture for Humanity invited twelve established local and national firms to create proposals for homes that meet the new challenges of disaster-mitigation in the post-Katrina environment. In August 2006 these firms participated in a House Fair. The event was open to the public, but also served as a vehicle for seven participating families to meet and talk with the architects one-on-one and select a design team with which to work.

Through out the construction of these 7 homes different construction methods and materials were proposed and tested. The results of the near complete program provide community building partners with valuable resources.

In addition to sponsoring the Model Home program, Architecture for Humanity collaborated with the East Biloxi Coordination Relief and Redevelopment Agency, Hands On Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio to bring volunteer designers and architects to East Biloxi and provide support for continuing rebuilding efforts.

Video Credits:
Narrated by Arik Tendler
Produced by Bowdon Hunt
Sponsored by CaesarStone USA


Helping Gulf Coast Communities Come Back Stronger Than Ever Oprah’s Angel Network
Homes get Furnished The Sun Herald
Biloxi Clues grist
Covenors of Capability strategy + business, Booze Allen Hamilton
Two Years in Katrina’s Wake Architectural Record
Design Steps up in Disasters Wake The NY Times
Gulf Coast Rising This Old House

We are grateful to Oprah’s Angel Network and the following sponsors for making this program possible:


Thank you to all of our Architects, Contractors, and Professionals who have contributed to this program

Brett Zamore Design LLC Houston, TX
Community Planning and Design LLC Charlottesville, VA
Gulf Coast Community Design Studio Biloxi, MS
Huff + Gooden Architects Charleston, SC
Marlon Blackwell Architect Fayetteville, AR
MC2 Architects Houston, TX
Studio Gang Architects Chicago, IL
Paul Hendershot Design, Landscape Architecture Ojai, CA
House Calls Construction
Cox and Carr Construction
Express Constructors Inc.Black Rock Engineering
Civil, Structural, and Forensic Engineers
Engineering Solutions
Enterprise, OR
Quality Engineering Services
Arup USA

In addition, we are grateful to:

East Biloxi Coordination Relief and Redevelopment Agency
Enterprise Corporation of the Delta
Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Steven R. Meier, Jenner & Block LLP
Casius Pealer, Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC
Warnke Community Consultants

The residents of East Biloxi and our many volunteers for lending their time and their talents.

We would also like to thank the following who contributed their time and resources to this project:

American Forests
American Red Cross
Barbara Bloemink, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Boat People SOS
Boston Society of Architects
Caesar Stone
Carlos A. Gutierrez, PE, CSF-PE Service Consulting Engineers
Chris Madden Inc.City of Biloxi
Dan Etheridge, Tulane University
David Hardy of Guild Hardy Architects
Galloway Media Group
Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG
Gulf Coast Community Foundation Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund
Hands On Gulf Coast
Hope Force International
Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign
Interface Inc.Isle of Capri
James Hardie
Javier Arbona, Archinect
John M. Moore, Jr., PE, 4SE, Inc
Land Trust for Mississippi Coastal Plain
Margie O’Driscoll, AIA San Francisco
Matilda McQuaid, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
McCormick Tribune Foundation
Michelle Sakayan of Sakayan, Inc.Nancy Jenner, Boston Society of Architects
National Alliance of Vietnamese American Social Agencies
Newton Nursery
Oprah’s Angel Network
Paul Hendershot, Landscape Architect
Reed Kroloff, Tulane University
Ric Bell, AIA New York
Richard Fitzgerald, Boston Society of Architects
Richard Koshalek, Art Center College of Design
Roger T. Roepke, PE, Black Rock Engineering
Sachin Anand, PE, dbHMS Design Build Engineering
Salvation Army
Samaritan’s Purse
Senox Corp
SPS New England
Steven Lewis, National Organization of Minority Architects
Ted Landsmark, Boston Architectural College
The Salvation Army
Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota
William D. Browning, U.S. Green Building Council
All of the volunteers and professionals who have given their time and efforts to this community