by Jack Waterman
This concept relies on stepped courtyards and a public path through the site that carves out distinct programmatic areas, site-specific references to semi-private courtyards and pedestrian culture influence this proposal.
A dialect forms between the upper, open digital media spaces and the “subterranean” old media space below the courtyards. Cladding and spatial hierarchy additionally emphasizes this.
The quick media space is designed with light weight and transparent members, while the stacks are filled with a prefabricated brick system.
The brick cladding acts as a contemporary variation on the prevalent building material of the French Quarter and acts as a bridge to the high-tech style of a new media area.
Beginning from the Toulouse facade, the path builds vertically through successive courtyards off the media, children’s area, and auditorium, respectively.
The atmosphere of each changes from large/busy to small/secluded to short/spectacular. At the vertex, the path becomes interior to function as circulation for the assembly space. This area of the program requires separate entry and remains essentially public throughout, and therefor the path begins to wind sown to the Chartes facade and complete the throughway.
Control of light becomes a key performer in respect to the concept. Ceiling lights for the “subterranean” space had to be set just above the path to allow a sliver of clerestory light, while at the same time the path had to be raised enough for the space below to be comfortable and reflective of the large open plan.
Oculi provide natural light to the areas directly below the courtyard.
This creates a visual connection to the courtyard above, including the third level at the vertex of the path.
More of Jack’s work may be seen at his website: http://www.behance.net/jackpwaterman
Photos by Jack Waterman