Architect Jonathan Tate was living and working in Memphis, Tennessee, when Hurricane Katrina ensnared New Orleans in 2005. Instinctively drawn to the Big Easy, he later moved there for the opportunity to observe the reconstruction effort and investigate architecture’s role in it. “Embedded in the practice from the beginning was a desire to look around and postulate,” said Tate, referring to the namesake office he founded in the Lower Garden District in 2011. Indeed, Office of Jonathan Tate (OJT) brings a probing, “investigative” (the word and its cognates have a special resonance for the small firm) spirit to wide-ranging issues relevant to New Orleans. Its projects, which span everything from low-rise housing to planning initiatives, often combine research with philanthropic funding and aspects of community building.
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