Frederick A. Douglass Senior High School Auditorium

Frederick A. Douglass Senior High School Auditorium

Use: Education
Location: New Orleans, LA
Size: 15,078 SF
Category: Architecture & Interior Design

The Frederick Douglass High School auditorium isn’t just anarea for student performance; it’s an important civic space for the Bywater neighborhood. Since 2005, the auditorium has been closed due to damage from Hurricane Katrina; its grand Art Deco-inspired assemblyleft only for the use of storage. To help the school system return this invaluable resource to the community, NANO devised a strategy for making the auditorium more accessible, more accommodating, and more authentic than it has been for decades. 

In addition to overseeing the sensitive repairs of the hurricane-caused damage, we are working with local artisans and restoration specialists to preserve the feeling of the 1940s auditorium – cleaning and repainting its original deco-patterned acoustic tile ceiling and restoring all the original light fixtures and wooden chairs. And to ensure visitors are comfortable in the restored auditorium, we integrated a new air conditioning system into the building’s structure. The unobtrusive new system features custom high-flow grills artfully set into the existing ceiling grid, and ducts installed between the trusses concealed above. Visitors won’t see the changes, but on a sweltering New Orleans day, they’ll definitely feel the difference. 

While retaining the historic character of the 1940s building, NANO also improved accessibility throughout the building to ensure it could serve the entire community. With great care and thoughtfulness to the existing space, we incorporated a wheelchair lift into the stage, removed seating to create wider aisles, and added more visitor seating. We also integrated a more accessible production control platform to the theater’s main floor. Outside, working with the HDLC, we added a new exterior ramp that complements the building’s design and its recently updated courtyard.

NANO also prepared an alternate theater package for the school that will let them move forward with a complete revamp of the lighting and sound systems as soon as they have the resources. The new Frederick Douglass High School auditorium will help the New Orleans charter school system continue its mission to build students’ character and prepare them for the future of their choice.

New Orleans Fire Department Headquarters & Training Academy

NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS & TRAINING ACADEMY

Use: Municipal/Commercial
Location: New Orleans, LA
Size: 18,500 SF
Category: Architecture & Interior Design

When The New Orleans Fire Department closed its headquarters in 2011 due to hurricane and environmental issues, staff and resources were scattered across the city. To centralize this invaluable public service, NANO is transforming an old department training facility into a versatile headquarters and resilient storm shelter. When completed, the updated building’s flexible spaces and durable design will ensure that when disaster hits, the City’s first responders are ready.

The existing facility is a Post-Modern idiosyncratic 18,500-square-foot brick and plaster structure with a gabled roof and symbolic hose tower. Working in close collaboration with the fire chief, NANO redesigned the building for 24-hour operation. We updated the interior to work efficiently and accommodate the complex program needed for an emergency building, creating spaces for offices and administration areas, medical and training facilities, and a fully equipped dormitory.

A new 1,500-square-foot addition reflects the massing and geometry of the existing building. Clad in durable metal panels and louvers, the second-story addition bridges the main building and an adjacent auditorium to create a distinctive gateway that marks the facility’s entry and gives it a more modern sensibility. We reinforced this feeling by replacing all existing glazing with impact-resistant, black-framed windows and updating the façade with more contemporary exterior finishes.

Not only do the improvements enhance the building’s aesthetic,but they also make it safer. We upgraded the building to a Type II-B, Risk Category IV compliant structure. In addition to site remediation, water-proofing, and impact-resistant glazing, we designed a secure space for a large generator, an access control system fully integrated into the security monitoring system, and resilient flood mitigation and stormwater management solutions. 

Navigating the city’s institutions can be a challenge, but we’re proud to support the NOFD and get them back under one roof. This project strengthens the entire city by consolidating resources, improving communication and preparedness, and creating a greater sense of community among New Orleans firefighters.

PATRICK F. TAYLOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY

PATRICK F. TAYLOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY

2018 Award of Merit, AIA Louisiana

2018 Excellence in Sustainability Honor Award, USGBC Louisiana

2014 Award of Excellence / Outstanding Project, Learning by Design

2014 People’s Choice Award, AIA New Orleans

Use: Education
Location: Avondale, LA
Size: 99,700 SF
Category: Architecture & Interior Design

As Design Director Principals for Perez APC | NANO LLC, Terri Dreyer and Ian Dreyer provided Programming, Schematic Design and Design Development for the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy project. Terri Dreyer was the Senior Project Designer.
 
A school for highly gifted students in grades 6-12, the Academy’s focus on the STEAM Curriculum led to an emphasis on a learning environment that combined individual learning with classroom learning. As such, a “pod” design was developed to allow for purposeful collaboration and exploration.
 
The exploration of the entry sequence, integration into the landscape, and a “lack of defined exterior” allowed for the central corridor to evolve into spaces more freely. This gave the communal spaces less rigidity, increasing communication and additional break out spaces. Derived from historic urban topography and present programmatic adjacencies, the result is a unique educational facility for the 21st century.

YOUTH STUDY CENTER

YOUTH STUDY CENTER

Use: Municipal – Detention – Education
Location: New Orleans, LA
Size: 22,000 SF
Category: Architecture & Interior Design
The $14.8 million, 22,000 SF Youth Study Center expansion will add 28 beds to the existing facility, and will be able to expand up to 60 total beds via a pre-engineered second floor addition.

The expansion includes a reception area, secure visitation rooms, classrooms, expanded dining services, medical services and associated support facilities. The classrooms are designed to be flexible for traditional classes, or set up for specialty art or science classes. Each classroom is also outfitted with an individual learning area for students who need one-on-one instruction or study space.

The 14,000 SF outdoor secure courtyard has multiple functions, such as a recreation yard with its half court basketball court, open green space and walking track. It also serves as an area of refuge and have covered circulation areas and seating areas.

Storm water management on this project is accomplished through the utilization of interior roof drains connected to subsurface drains tied to both existing and new retention ponds. A new pervious pavement service/access road further enables the project to meet or exceed storm water management expectations. Existing plantings and trees will be relocated across Imperial Drive with new trees and plantings to be added. The end result will be a tree lined street and shaded pedestrian sidewalk in keeping with New Orleans traditions.

New plantings will also be installed in bioswales and retention ponds. These will act to enhance the landscape visually while also acting as natural filters and mitigate water flow across the site.