The Tulane School of Architecture recently released plans for an addition to and renovation of its historic Richardson Memorial Hall by Philadelphia-based Kieran Timberlake Architects (KTA). New Orleans’ Eskew+Dumez+Ripple is associate architect on the project and Buro Happold’s New York office is providing the engineering and sustainability consulting. The proposed project, currently in design development, would add over 30,000 square feet to the existing 50,000 square feet and is aiming to achieve LEED Platinum and the goals of Architecture 2030.
With new degrees in social innovation and sustainable real estate development added to the existing architecture and preservation options, the historic building has new and increased needs. Richard Maimon, KTA’s principle-in-charge, said, “Our goal is to align Richardson Memorial Hall with Tulane’s agenda for 21st century architectural education—collaborative, community-focused, and informed by technology. The 1908 masonry building will be complemented by a transparent, high-performance, flexible addition that promotes connectivity across studio work, fabrication and community outreach, while serving as a teaching tool itself.”
The schematic design presented shows a floating transparent box housing studios, pin-up spaces, and occupiable mechanical spaces above a green-roofed angular base containing fabrication and media facilities, a double-height gallery, and a café. The new addition will be just north of the existing school and connect to it with circulation running along the back edge of the site.
In speaking about the selection of KTA, Dean Kenneth Schwartz talked about the primary issues under consideration: “One is their record of distinguished design in historic settings. They have clearly demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to work respectfully with the old, while producing modern architecture of great significance. Additionally the firm is operating at an extremely high level in terms of high performance building and sustainable design. And number three is that they were very clear from the beginning that they see this project as an influential and didactic opportunity for our students and faculty.”