Local Architects Shaping the New New Orleans

Contemporary architecture is making some welcome headway in post-Katrina New Orleans — at least if we look at the top four winners of this year’s New Orleans AIA Awards.

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The Rebuild Center at St. Joseph Church, designed by Wayne Troyer Architects is a community resource center built from six trailers, organized around a courtyard and joined together by wood canopies & decking, as well as translucent polycarbonate screens. Compared to a “zen fishing camp” by the architect, The Rebuild Center was intended to stay open for 5 years, but with the slow reconstruction of New Orleans, it looks like it might be around just a bit longer than that…

[Image via Make it Right]

The above winning entry comes courtesy of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, and is one of the local contributions to Brad Pitt’s “Make it Right” housing program. The energy-efficient design is a riff on the classic New Orleans shotgun, and can be somewhat customized to fit the tastes/needs of the owner.

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Bild Design’s Lowerline residence is another twist on New Orleans vernacular — this time it’s the Camelback house that gets a thoughtful, contemporary update. The two-family home makes maximum use of its height in providing additional living space and river views.

[Image via Eskew+Dumez+Ripple]

Eskew+Dumez+Ripple also won the Urban Design category with their entry for the “Reinventing the Crescent” competition. When complete in 2016, their masterplan will be the largest continuous waterfront park in the city. Developers will work closely with the planners and architects to ensure that public are granted easy access to The River. The plan also includes the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, to help merge any new construction with the existing fabric of the city.

Preservation in New Orleans will always be necessary, but it’s nice to see that the city seems to be growing more open-minded about contemporary architecture. Perhaps EDR partner Steven Dumez put it best: “we are a city of architectural diversity and people love that diversity and sense that as ‘New Orleans.’ What is being designed now is a contemporary design for the city as it is now…and there is room for a new interpretation of New Orleans.”

&#183 N.O. architects lean to edgier, modern designs [New Orleans City Business]·
&#183 Modern in New Orleans [Life Without Buildings]·
&#183 The New New Orleans Riverfront [Life Without Buildings]