700 Baronne Street was originally constructed in the early 1900s as home to the New Orleans Paint Company and the Valspar Paint Company. The structure is a four story load bearing masonry building with a primary structure of heavy timber, a 4 inch thick slab, and tongue and groove flooring. Most notably, the 3rd floor incorporates an inverted metal truss support system that would be required to be kept in the project as per the direction of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
For its intended use, the owner wished to create apartments on the upper floors and a commercial space on the ground floor, which would include an historic mezzanine level. Two major hurdles had to be overcome. First, the owner was adamant about a roof top addition. Second, due to the long narrow nature of the site, a second means of egress, as typically required per code, would make the project financially infeasible.
Working with the HDLC and SHPO offices, NANO developed a penthouse scheme, inclusive of computer 3D renderings and contractor provided mock ups to assure that the penthouse would not negatively impact the historic relevance of the building. NANO further developed an enhanced life safety strategy and worked with the New Orleans Board of Building Safety and Appeals (BBSA) to meet the needs of the owner while maintaining a safe facility.