500 Port of New Orleans Place
Designer: OmniPlan Architects
“Luxury food court” may sound as egregious an oxymoron as the jumbo shrimp for which New Orleans is famous, but it is the modus operandi for Dallas-based architecture firm OmniPlan’s latest project. The Riverwalk MarketPlace, which is sited along the Crescent City’s Mississippi River waterfront, is a high-end outlet mall that boasts a dining experience to match. Informally referred to as “the food court,” the Riverwalk’s dining area occupies an outdoor terrace with large windows that overlook the river. The dozen restaurants within offer a more sophisticated palette than standard mall fare, and range from an upscale coffee bar to a formal sit-down restaurant. The décor is anchored by a local artist’s large mural, which captures, as explained by principal architect Tipton Housewright, “the life and culture of New Orleans.” Overall, the project combines eating and shopping into an immersive “luxury” experience that allows consumers to soak in the city’s culture without ever having to step in a car.