Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum / Trahan Architects


The new Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum designed by Trahan Architects has just entered its construction phase.   The museum’s donated memorabilia embodies “the contributions of the diverse cultures that have shaped the state and are crucial to understanding the unique traditions and legacy of Louisiana and the Gulf South.”  Principal Trey Trahan, FAIA, describes the project as “an incredible opportunity to create a place that will celebrate the deep history of North Louisiana, as well as the indelible influence sports have had on our state’s culture.”

More images and more about the Hall of Fame and the Museum after the break.0402_sd-3d-sm_cb_ex15lg-081007_reduced

The $12 million project is comprised of a 28,000-square-foot contemporary venue that highlights the collections’ important cultural assets and recognizes each segment as part of the greater cultural history of the state of Louisiana.  The project is situated in  , the oldest settlement from the Louisiana Purchase. has tried to embrace this history and the landscape into the design by cladding the exterior in sinker cypress planks as a reference to the region’s rich timber legacy.

According to Trey Trahan, “our design is informed by the historic architecture and materials of the region, while presenting a contemporary architectural language to this remarkable city.”


The spacing and manipulation of the exterior boards control light, views and ventilation.  The arrangement creates a sense of porosity and articulation that will animate the façade and mediate the building’s scale.  The louvers also make a reference to the cladding at nearby Oakland Plantation, where wood planks were used for the purpose of mitigating the climate.


The interiors highlight the “area’s distinctive geomorphology and aspects of the river’s hydromorphology.”   Fluid shapes of “the braided corridors of river channels” are separated by “interstitial masses of land” to create the organizing principle for visitor circulation and gallery arrangement.

The project is scheduled to be completed in March 2011.


Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Project Type: Museum

Project Scope: Architecture Design and Production

Client: Louisiana State Facility Planning & Control

User: Louisiana State Museums

Project Size: 28,000 sf.

Construction Cost: $12,600,000.00

Completion Date: March 2011

Key Personnel: Trey Trahan FAIA (Principal), Ed Gaskin AIA (Project Architect), Brad McWhirter (Project


Project Team: Blake Fisher, Michael McCune, Mark Hash, Tara Street-Bradford, Sean David, Christian Rodriguez,

Erik Herrmann, Luis Quinones, Judson Terry

Design Team: Civil Engineering, CSRS Inc., Baton Rouge, LA; Structural Engineering, LBYD, Atlanta, GA;

Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing Engineering, Associated Design Group Inc., Lafayette, LA

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum / Trahan Architects" 29 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • mauro

    why this?

  • StructureHub Blog

    Intriguing, yes; but the amorphous interior seems to clash with the external, angular form. As much as Mr. Trahan’s explanation makes sense (e.g., referencing geological/hydrological history in the region), it is precisely the sort of relationship that many folks will find it difficult to comprehend (not b/c they aren’t smart enough, but just b/c the reference seems to abstracted).

  • arch critic

    Because they’re LOCAL duuuuhrrr

  • german osorio

    where have i seen this before, the organic spaces inside a box… mmmmm…. zaha hadid rip off!!

  • Jason

    Every other image of this project is more interesting than the first one. Why lead off the article with the least appealing image?

  • Jason

    german osorio: So only zaha is allowed to do “organic spaces” inside a box? Does this apply for everything and everyone? Are we not allowed for others work to influence our own at all? Haven’t you realized by now that for almost anything that you can think of that you think is original, someone has already thought of it?

  • the dude

    I am not sure if this project will be accepted by the local region or eventual users of the museum. It seems like an overly complex concept for the purpose or functionality of the building as a sports museum. However that being stated as my case, I still enjoy the depth of the design, and the process used to create such interesting geological/hydro shapes. I just do not translate how this concept directly relates to the history of sports in the region. It just seems like an extremely dynamic design for a seeming static sport/history museum.

  • Abe Froman

    Yeah…let’s bring Dubai to Louisiana!!

  • Mookie Wilson

    Couldn’t they have just made it in the shape of a big football?

  • abstracted

    In response to the Zaha thing, I think one of the project architects at Trahan used to work for Zaha. So that explains a lot.

    I tend to prefer Trahan’s earlier work over his new designs. The new stuff just seems like they a trying a little too hard sometimes…

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  • ema

    plop! como condorito

    • L. A. McMURTRY

      ¡Exijo una explicación!

    • as


  • mary pruitt

    i am writing this as a plea for re-consideration on the exterior design of the museum. i am a citizen of natch. and i love my city. the historical aspect is what makes the town so unique. your structure would be fine in a cosmoplitan city but in natch. it is a monstasity. i cannot believe that a man of integrity and your expertise would force feed this atrosity to the citizens and tourists of natch. in my opinion it is worse than horrible. change is not always good and this is a ridiculous argument and does not apply. i am 62 years in this beloved town and i have always heard you can’t fight city hall or “the good old boys” please please prove this wrong and change the exterior befor we are forever forced to look at what is just not right. this could be something we could all be proud of instead of it being so controversial.”please tear down this wall” p.s. i would suggest that you please look at a few of hayes townes plans.

    • zac

      Mary Pruitt,
      There’s a difference between preservation and perpetuation of history. There are small towns all over the world that welcome this kind of architecture amongst historic buildings. Why do we cling to this idea that new buildings must mimic they’re surroundings in order to belong. It’s just small minded.

  • at

    Mary: You really went looking for this one didn’t you? Not too much to do these days? It is exactly this attitude that has prevented this project from living up to the excellence and praise of Trahan’s earlier works. The design looks like it still needs development, and I’m sure they will pull off some great details, but such reminiscing about antebellum louisiana days could pull a good project into mediocrity, or worse. A Hayes Towne? Come on. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. “Please get a life”
    P.S. I would suggest letting professional architects practice their profession.

    • L. A. McMURTRY

      Sir or Madam, your ill-mannered and coarse response to Ms. Pruitt’s post is insensitive and contemptible! However your bloviating is reflective of the boorish manner in which this incompatible exterior design has been inflicted upon an averse community.

      Professional architects who practice their art as though people matter are less likely to receive scorn like this design exterior has engendered.

  • D

    Obviously they are working with ideas that are influenced by Zaha. But this is the way that architecture has always worked. Architecture develops/disseminates by imitation and influences. But I agree that it is a knee-jerk reaction to call something a Zaha ripoff, and this is not a real criticism, only a shallow comment. Actually any form that has been touched by an animation program, people will say this. This kind of work is dealing with a new (in the past 20 years) language, and it is aggravating that every utterance has to be legitimized or delegitimized with reference to some master-personality.

    The way they described this project is shallow, but the project itself has a lot of substance and is an impressive and beautiful demonstration of techniques that the office is working very hard to develop in Baton Rouge of all places.

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  • mk

    Having studied under Zaha for a full year and seeing first-hand the level of talent and committment, I can say that her forms are exceptionally hard to ‘rip-off’. Her work is not successfully copied on a superficial level because it is simply to hard to do.

    I find this design intriguing, and while certainly influenced by the Pritzker-winning architect, the architectural language has been digested and apparently reinterpreted with some rigor. I wish Trahan Architects every luck in completing this project.