cipro 400 iv

Franz Building

Undergraduate design studio, Washington University, 2008.
Professor: Derek Hoeferlin

Studio blog: NOLA Recipe

A renovation of a 1940 brick retail building for the Good Work Network, a non-profit business incubator on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. Flexible space that can serve groups of 12 people (meetings), 25 people (classes), or 80 people (evening events) is the public face of the Franz Building and thus occupies the storefront edge. Partial removal of a bearing wall frees up the plan.

Small offices are the private space and occupy the south end of the building. A conference room and a computer lab mediate between the public and private zones. The east and west walls of these two rooms store sliding wall partitions for dividing and closing the flexible space. The north and south walls of these two rooms are sliding glass panels, so the rooms can be linked with either the private area of the offices or the public area of the flexible space.

A raised bamboo floor over the office area is countered by a sloped ceiling over the flexible space, director’s office kitchen, and bathrooms. The plenum floor allows for efficient wiring of the offices; the sloped ceiling reflects light and allows for the flexible space to become soundproofed by the sliding walls.

This proposal was chosen as the submission to the 2008 Chase Community Development Competition from a team made up of the ten students in Derek Hoeferlin’s 412 studio and two Master of City Planning candidates at MIT. On April 28, 2008, our team was named one of five finalists in the competition. At the competition finals in New Orleans on May 6, 2008, we gave a public presentation of this project with three other students in front of a panel of architects, planners, and housing experts. Our team was awarded first place, earning Good Work Network a $25,000 grant.

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