Video: Tour Through Trahan Architects’ Sculpted Louisiana Sports Hall and Museum

A contemporary museum set within the oldest settlement in the Purchase, Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum is distinguished for its sculpted interior and contrasting copper facade. Watch the short film above as Spirit of Space tours through the building, capturing the museum’s historic context and central pathway.

“Having spent several days in the space observing the museum patrons and their experiences, it is clear that the museum’s architecture is an exhibit itself. And while visitors point at and caress the exquisitely crafted cast stone, they are simultaneously guided by it without the need for any signage or wayfinding devices,” says Adam Goss of . “This is a space about movement. In cinematic form, this film attempts to capture that fluid experience, and at the same time, to illustrate how the past can complement and inspire compelling and forward-thinking architecture.”

Follow Spirit of Space on Instagram to stay up-to-date with their work. 

AD Round Up: Mardi Gras Edition

W French Quarter / . Image © Michael Kleinberg

February 17 is Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” traditionally a Catholic holiday that celebrates the last night of indulging in guilty pleasures before participating in the penitential season of Lent. Celebrated around the world with elaborate parties, parades, dancing, and other frivolities, its festivities are most famously celebrated within the United States today in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the site of the first American Mardi Gras.

In honor of this holiday, we’ve rounded up five projects built in New Orleans in the last few years that capture the mysterious spirit and embrace the history of the vibrant city. These inspired works include FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects and Frank Gehry’s duplex which were designed for Make It Right’s hurricane relief effort, Voorsanger Architects’ National World War II Museum, Rosa Keller Library by the 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and its joint design with Nemaworkshop for W French Quarter. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the Van Alen Institute (VAI) and New Orleans Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward

The Float House / Morphosis, © Iwan Baan

Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’s piece entitled “If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation – numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of in 2005. To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million.  Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘s article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling.  Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.

Read on for more on the Make It Right debate…

Make It Right completes Frank Gehry-designed Duplex

© Chad Chenier Photography /

Make It Right is proud to announce the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed, ’ duplex in the Lower 9th Ward. The colorful, LEED Platinum home is part of an affordable and sustainable community that is currently being developed by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation within the NOLA neighborhood most devastated from Hurricane Katrina.

“I really believe in what Brad is doing for the community and was honored to be included,” said Frank Gehry. “I wanted to make a house that I would like to live in and one that responded to the history, vernacular and climate of New Orleans. I love the colors that the homeowner chose. I could not have done it better.”

Continue after the break for more.

Lamar Advertising Corporate Headquartes / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Location: , , USA
Consultants: Henderson Engineers Inc. Fox-Nesbit Engineering, Spackman, Mossop+Michaels, ABMB Engineers, Inc.
Completion: 2012
Client: Lamar Advertising Company
Project Size: 115,000 square feet
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Make it Right Homes in NOLA

/ Photographs © James Ewing/OTTO

Over the past five years, the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans has been realizing its commitment to build 150 affordable, green storm resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward. The foundation, established by Brad Pitt, has completed seventy-five homes with the time and efforts donated by local and international architects such as Gehry Partners, Morphosis, Kieran Timberlake, Pugh+Scarpa, and McDonough+Partners.

Photographer James Ewing shared the documentation of his visit to the Make it Right Homes of New Orleans, citing the designs he most admired by Shigeru Ban, Adjaye Associates, Hitoshi Abe, and BiLD.

More on Make it Right and the homes after the break.

Acadia Parish Conference Center / Trahan Architects

Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Located to the north-east of , a small town in known to be the “Rice Capital of America”, the Acadia Parish Conference Center by Trahan Architects will mediate the threshold between the urban development to the west and the agricultural fields to the east. Envisioned as an extension of the landscape, the center creates a harmonic balance between the two environments, expressing the importance of local agricultural.

Continue after the break for more on the Acadia Parish Conference Center.

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik

The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. – Detroit, Phoenix, and – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.

Bayou-Luminescence Installation / ISSSStudio + PATH

Courtesy of + PATH

Bayou-luminescence, one of ten site-specific installations commissioned by the chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was a collaboration between Igor Siddiqui, the principal of the Austin-based design practice ISSSStudio and Matt Hutchinson, the principal of San-Francisco-based firm PATH. The project was included as a part of DesCours, the annual architecture and art event on view at various locations in city from December 2 through 11, 2011. More images and architects’ description after the break.

DesCours: A Presentation of AIA New Orleans

Courtesy of

DesCours is a free, public, ten-night architecture and art event now in its fifth year, held December 2-December 11 in .

This event invites internationally renowned architects and artists to create architecture installations within ‘hidden’ locations in the heart of New Orleans, including private courtyards, rooftops, abandoned buildings and walkways, all locations normally unseen, inaccessible or unused by the public.

More information on the event after the break.

Richardson Memorial Hall Green Renovation Plans

Courtesy of

Fundraising is now underway for a $23.9 million green makeover of Richardson Memorial Hall, the century old home of the Tulane University School of Architecture.

The renovation will include maximizing the light and airiness of the building, installing solar panels and cisterns to collect rainwater for irrigation and, possibly, plumbing use, and many other sustainable strategies. Additionally, IBM Smart Building technology will monitor and adjust the building’s water consumption, lighting and other systems to optimize their performance while lowering the building’s carbon footprint. More information on the project after the break.

URBANbuild / Tulane University

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Check out a preview we spotted on PublicInterestDesign of Tulane University’s School of Architecture URBANbuild program, a total collaborative effort of “individuals, organizations, and businesses committed to revitalizing New Orleans’ rich cultural and architectural heritage.” Working with Professor Byron Mouton, and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, students have designed and built several LEED-certified homes such as 04 featured in the clip.  This particular residence is situated in Central City of New Orleans and completely breaks with the traditional “shotgun homes” that line the streets.  The young homeowner, Tami, appreciates the students’ talents and abilities to go beyond what the neighborhood, and even the city, is comfortable with to create a new urban identity.  Challenged by Mouton to introduce new ideas, the students have created a beautiful residence that they can certainly be proud of and one that Tami loves   View her story and a bit of the project’s journey in the video.

Tulane School of Architecture 2011-2012 Lecture Series

Courtesy of

Tulane School of Architecture has announced their 2011-2012 school year lecture series featuring Rafael Moneo, Billie Tsien, Adam Yarinsky and others, including a string of lectures on Urban Innovations co-sponsored by The Murphy Institute. More information on the lectures after the break.

2011 DesCours Request for Proposals

Courtesy of

Now in it’s 5th year, DesCours will be holding its annual event in from December 2nd-December 11th, 2011. DesCours is a ten-day, contemporary architecture and art event that looks towards the future in showcasing experimental, cutting-edge new media and interactive installations while embracing rich cultural heritage. During DesCours, internationally recognized architects, designers and artists transform unique, hidden spaces within the French Quarter and Central Business District into destination places for visitors and locals alike.

There are a total of 11-13 artists and architects (individuals and teams) that will be selected through this proposal process, which is due by August 19th at 5pm, and by invitation to participate by creating installations for French Quarter courtyards, downtown building lobbies, rooftops, walkways and other ‘hidden’ New Orleans spaces. Overall, we are seeking installations that react and respond both to the historic nature of the sites, and to the public audience that views them. More event description after the break.

Green Homes and Sustainable Communities Conference

Hosting the 6th Annual and Sustainable Communities Conference, the city of will bring together a variety of individuals from financiers and policy makers to developers and technical experts all focused on redefining affordable housing and community development. In addition to the symposium’s national focus, this year’s event will highlight some of the Gulf Coast’s most innovative green affordable housing projects. The Green Homes and Sustainable Communities Conference will be next month, July 14th and 15th, further details can be found here.

NOLA Modern Proposal / GOATstudio

exterior

’ Lower 9th Ward represents a rather new phenomenon in American urbanism; physical tabula rasa paired with a metaphysical fabric of emotion, history, and tragedy that is no less significant than the physical emptiness. That emptiness has boldy been broken by the Make It Right foundation. Regardless of one’s opinion of their planning or design practices, the context that MIR has created in the 9th Ward has it’s own richness that is redefining the neighborhood’s physical presence while ensuring the continuity of the metaphysical through resident outreach. It is this new context that should now be respected and preserved. Unwittingly, MIR has sparked and nurtured the NOLA[modern] movement, defined by contemporary material, formal, and tectonic gestures with a thoughtful respect for regional typologies. This proposal by GOATstudio, for the DesignByMany challenge which ArchDaily sponsored, is the next entry in the soon to be expanding catalogue of NOLA[modern]. More images and description after the break.

In Progress: The J‐House / AEDS

rendering

The J‐House uses a historically standard New Orleans housing lot: 30×150 feet. The original site for the J‐House is located in a designated flood zone as is common with many housing sites throughout the Southern Louisiana region. Recent FEMA studies have concluded that a vast range of New Orleans housing sites are currently 9‐feet under sea level. The original site for the J‐House is no different.

Architect: AEDS | Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio
Location: 918 Upperline Street, New Orleans, Louisiana,
Project Team: Ammar Eloueini, Jana Masset, David Merlin, Dan Kautz, Jamie Lookabaugh, Surawat Hanthawichai
Architect of Record: Wisznia A+D
Sturctural Engineer: Buro Happold New York, Craft Engineering Studio New York
Photographs: Courtesy of