Some actors dream of rock stardom. Brad Pitt wants to be an architect. According to the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper, the 41-year-old movie star recently apprenticed at architect Frank Gehry's Los Angeles studio and is now putting his CAD skills to the test as a member of the design team for Gehry's $475 million seaside redevelopment project in the East Sussex city of Hove, England.
Pitt is reportedly designing a restaurant and luxury duplex penthouse for the Hove waterfront plan, which calls for 700 apartments and the overhaul of an existing sports center. Gehry's initial concept—a “winter garden” anchored by four 395-foot towers resembling “crumpled Victorian dresses”—met with resistance from residents and has since been scaled back to two towers. But the buildings' controversial design, which one critic likened to “transvestites caught in a gale,” remains largely unchanged. Planning applications were submitted in August and are now on deck for consideration by the Brighton and Hove city council.
Design contributions notwithstanding, proponents are hoping to leverage Pitt's celebrity to gain support for the private redevelopment effort. The actor is rumored to be considering buying half of the penthouse he's designing and plans to spend the next year in Britain filming a documentary about the Hove project. In that regard, he may be the ultimate weapon in combating NIMBY resistance.