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2006 - Present: Katrina Cottages

Pretty Houses Designed to Meet a Desperate Need


Inspired by the need for emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina, these cozy prefab cottages took America by storm.
Katrina Cottage in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Lowe's teamed with designer Marianne Cusato to create this Katrina Cottage in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

PRNewsFoto/Lowe's Companies, Inc.
In 2005, many homes and communities along America's Gulf Coast were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed. Architects responded to the crisis by designing low-cost emergency shelters. The Katrina Cottage was a highly popular solution because its simple, traditional Primitive Hut design suggested the architecture of a cozy turn-of-the-century house.

The original Katrina Cottage was developed by Marianne Cusato and other leading architects, including renowned architect and town planner Andres Duany. Cusato's 308-square foot prototype was later adapted to create a series of about two dozen different versions of the Katrina Cottage designed by a variety of architects and firms.

Katrina Cottages are typically small, ranging from less than 500 square feet up to about 1,000 square feet. A limited number of Katrina Cottage designs are 1,300 square feet and larger. While size and floor plans can vary, Katrina Cottages share many features. These quaint cottages are prefab houses constructed from factory-made panels. For this reason, Katrina Cottages can be built quickly (often within a few days) and economically. Katrina Cottages are also especially durable. These homes meet the International Building Code and most hurricane codes.

Katrina Cottages usually have these features:

  • Usually (not always) one story
  • Front porch
  • Turn-of-the century details such as turned columns and brackets
  • Rot- and termite-resistant siding such as Cementitious Hardiboard
  • Steel studs
  • Steel roof
  • Moisture and mold resistant drywall
  • Energy-efficient appliances

More about Katrina Cottages:

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Architecture
  4. House Styles
  5. Mail Order Houses
  6. Katrina Cottages -- A House Style Influenced by Hurricane Katrina

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