In late 2008, the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States, exhibited 81 artists in museums, historic buildings, and found sites throughout New Orleans. The welcome center structure created for this art biennial is housed in one of these found spaces – a historic warehouse in downtown New Orleans – and serves to orient visitors to the city and the biennial.
The design was inspired by the shape and scale of shipping containers, a nod to the significance of the port to the city’s economy and a reference to the nature of delivery for much of the art exhibited for the biennial.
Due to constraints of time and budget – the entire project was designed and constructed in 6 weeks at a total cost of $28,000 – a single construction material was selected that was both inexpensive and readily available. Utilizing construction grade plywood as floor, wall, ceiling and structure, the internal form is manipulated to provide hospitality desk, display counter, refreshment center and seating bench for visitors.
Acting as a container within a container, the ribbed plywood exterior construction acts in dialogue with the wood structure of the historic warehouse, contrasting the architecture of old and new.
Location: New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA
General Contractor: Canal Construction of Louisiana LLC
Client: U.S. Biennial, Inc.
Project Size: 300 sqm
Photographers: Will Crocker, Steve Dumez
2010 Wood Design Award of Merit
2010 AIA National Small Project Award
2010 Contact Magazine Interior Award
2010 AIA Louisiana Award of Merit
2009 Interior Design Best of Year Merit Award
2009 AIA Gulf States Honor Award