Rendered facade details - solar control louvers

Client: An ideas feature solicited by Newsweek Magazine for the cover article: 'The Future of Work'
Location: New Orleans (26 locations)
Size: 350,000sf on average
Program: Hotel, Cultural Institute, Retail, Emergency Shelter, Public Park
Cost: N/A
Status: Published in 2010
Note: LEED Platinum, Net Zero operation
Awards: SARA NY Chapter Honor Award, 2011

Key Roles: Anthony Fieldman, former Principal and lead project designer, Perkins+Will

Perkins+Will, Architect of Record

Images: Unless otherwise noted, copyright owned by Perkins+Will Architects, PC - used by permission

Video link to Anthony Fieldman's narration. 



New Orleans is a major cultural incubator that has contributed to the musical, culinary, and literary landscape of the United States. It is also extremely fragile in ecological terms, and disasters such as Katrina & the oil well failure have revealed a city in need of better strategies to cope with these events. In looking at the city’s future, there are two major issues to address: in this proposal, our goal is to create a network of community-scaled catalysts to spur social & economic activity based on existing cultural assets, while planning for a much-needed network of refuges in anticipation of the next natural disaster.

On 23 abandoned/derelict sites derived from a Tulane University report, we propose to plant a network of “SEEDs” (Social, Economic and Environmental Destinations), illustrated on the following pages. Each SEED centers around a community-scaled cultural/social amenity like music/performance, marketplace or library, coupled with related educational facilities for music, cooking or literature that build on NOLA’s rich cultural legacies. Each center is programmed with a tourist hotel to bring visitors in contact with locals and, with street-level commercial space, provide an additional source of income to local residents. Knitting these functions and rising above the floodplain is a public, multi-level park that acts both as roof & amenity. Lastly, each SEED draws 100% of its own energy needs from a combination of locally available sources, predominantly geothermal & solar, that allows it to function independent of the city grid. 

The inevitability of another hurricane is certain. During such an event, each SEED would trip into emergency mode whereby the facilities would serve as temporary shelter for affected residents. Together with on-site power generation, water purification, food/medicine storage & helipad, each SEED can provide substantial local relief. Branded red and uniformly lit at night, the shuttered hotel enclosures are literal beacons to those in need.

Rendered overview of typical SEED: public park, street-level commercial retail, cultural incubator, helipad, residential / emergency housing

Rendered overview of SEED 'beacons' at night

Diagrams showing development and distribution of SEEDS

Rendered street-level view of SEED