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

A contemporary museum set within the oldest settlement in the Louisiana 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.

AD Round Up: Mardi Gras Edition

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.

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

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

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 Hurricane Katrina 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 how amenities in the neighborhood are low and how 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.

Find out more after the break.

The Zachary House / Stephen Atkinson Architecture

Site Plan; © Stephen Atkinson Architecture
Site Plan; © Stephen Atkinson Architecture

The story of the Zachary House, designed by Stephen Atkinson Architectureis one of idealism of the profession and faith to the design.  In three iterations, the house that was originally designed for Atkinson’s own parents went from being the incarnation of the architect’s own ideal image, revered by both modernists and traditionalists, to a highly protected “manuscript” of an architectural vision.  The house was originally built in the 90′s in Zachary, Louisiana, where it gained a substantial amount of attention from other residents and the media for its blend of the “dog trot” and “shotgun” style homes.  The house, now in its third life, was built under specific conditions that maintained every element of its distinctive design. Join us after the break to find out more.

Holy Rosary Church Complex Succumbs to Redesign

Courtesy of Holy Rosary Church
Courtesy of Holy Rosary Church

Make It Right completes Frank Gehry-designed Duplex

© Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right
© Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right

Make It Right is proud to announce the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed, New Orleans’ 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.

Make it Right Homes in NOLA

BiLD / Photographs © James Ewing/OTTO
BiLD / 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
Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Located to the north-east of Crowley, a small town in Louisiana 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.

Courtesy of Trahan Architects Courtesy of Trahan Architects Courtesy of Trahan Architects Courtesy of Trahan Architects

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik
© 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. citiesDetroit, Phoenix, and New Orleans – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these cities 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 ISSSStudio + PATH
Courtesy of ISSSStudio + PATH

Bayou-luminescence, one of ten site-specific installations commissioned by the New Orleans 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.

In Progress: Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame / Trahan Architects

Courtesy of Trahan Architects - Renders by By-Encore
Courtesy of Trahan Architects - Renders by By-Encore

The Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame (LSMSHOF) celebrates two seemly disconnected subjects within one contemporary venue, combining North Louisiana’s profound history with its influential world of sports. Designed by Trahan Architects, in coordination with Method Design and CASE, the new $12.6 million venue will house donated memorabilia that 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.” A complex design, generated with the help of BIM technology, reflects the disparate subjects in one fluid structure encased within a locally inspired facade. Continue reading for more information and images.

Courtesy of Trahan Architects - Renders by By-Encore Courtesy of Trahan Architects Courtesy of Trahan Architects Navis Model - Courtesy of Trahan Architects

DesCours: A Presentation of AIA New Orleans

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

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

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, Make It Right and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, students have designed and built several LEED-certified homes such as URBANbuild 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
Courtesy of Tulane School of Architecture

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.

Lamar Advertising Headquarters / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

© Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
© Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Lamar Advertising Headquarters, as designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, is a reaction against the standard office environment; it is a collaborative administrative center, a proposal planned to strengthen a culture of openness. This refurbishment of a 1970’s office building reinvented a segmented office plan into a communal arena to connect colleges and contribute to the communicating whole. More of Lamar Advertising Headquarters after the break.