NANO was selected in 2017 to renovate the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board Engineering Building located on Claiborne Avenue. Built in 1984, with an addition done in 1994, it currently houses water testing laboratories, internal engineering departments, project delivery units, executive offices, a 200-person capacity auditorium, and archival storage of large-format drawings and historic records for the City of New Orleans’ sewerage and water system.
The main objectives of the redesign included the integration of open office concepts, redistribution of meeting spaces and the modernization of finishes and technology. Inter-departmental circulation strategies were developed in conjunction with open office floor plans to encourage critical internal communications as well as secured public access.
- Terri Dreyer
- Ian Dreyer
- Kristine Kobila
- Samantha Johnson
Through an in-depth programming phase and analysis of the site, NANO established a new centralized lobby that eases access, enhances public/private security, and enables a layout that reinforces interdepartmental organization
While the existing facility’s perimeter was filled with closed offices, NANO utilized sun studies, employee surveys, adjacency analysis and open office case studies to develop a responsive renovation that addressed the lack of natural light, balance of functional spaces and interdepartmental communication while also planning for projected hiring expansion.
Substantial area was recaptured by the fundamental design change of a central lobby, as well as condensing hardscape walls and the introduction of more efficient, high-capacity storage areas. In addition, all MEP services are planned for relocation to the roof, allowing for the development of an accessible exterior courtyard in its place and a direct connection to nature. A redistribution of the interior spaces allowed for better community and meeting spaces for public interaction and press announcements. Additionally, all base building services were brought up to current life safety codes.
The project was phased for construction. This provided integrated solutions for MEP and structural modifications as well as the full service laboratory functions to operate 24/7. This result will be a 21st century renovation that will answer the needs of the building’s occupants through materiality, light, and equal distribution of spaces.