"A Ribbon Runs Through It"

New Orleans.Louisiana


Jocelyn Poe, Collaborator


We developed a design for an open competition for a midrise, residential, and commercial development for a site in New Orleans Central City.  Sponsored by the U.S. Green Buildings Council, the competition called for the design to meet LEED design goals for a city block, which was once the Myrtle Rosebella Banks Elementary School.


The vacant three story brick school building remains on the site, and is to be renovated as part of the new development.  The existing building would be reconfigured to contain 9 residential units – ideally for seniors, as well as space for commercial lease, as well as functions for community job and living support services.  A garden, as well as recreation space serves as a key destination open to the community, and is placed on the new roof of the building.


In addition to the existing building, the proposed design would consist of a new six story building to be constructed on the site – which would contain an additional 50 residential units – for students, professionals, and families.  Covered parking is provided beneath the new building complex as well as the existing building.  A community garden is also provided on the south end of the site, as well as space for a small produce market on the north side.


Conceptually, the design is organized around a central courtyard, across which an elevating walkway, dubbed the “Ribbon” traverses.  Beginning at street level on the northeast corner of the site, the ribbon zigzags through the complex – terminating at the new roof garden of the existing building.  It symbolizes as well as literally attempts to weave the diversity of cultures and people of New Orleans and the Central City community through the development.