having purchased a magnificent waterfront lot along the mississippi river, the client for this project approached bild with an appreciation for the firm’s leake avenue project, which is designed in a contemporary language. the client’s site, however, is located in one of the city’s most controlled historic districts: holy cross.
this neighborhood’s urban fabric presents a continuation of the residential fabric initiated in the faubourg marigny and bywater neighborhoods. unfortunately, that continuity was severed by the 20th century intervention of the industrial canal. since then, the holy cross neighborhood has been divided from its former context. notwithstanding this separation, it remains of substantial historic significance.
predicated on bild’s prior success introducing progressive strategies to historic contexts with its chartres and bartholomew projects as precedents, the hdlc approved the proposal for the development of this client’s site as well. the resulting project is a duplex strategy on a corner lot; therefore, each unit has private access and entry on its own street. the depth of the lot will allow the client, a builder himself, to construct a wood shop at the rear of site, which will create a defined outdoor courtyard between house and shop, in keeping with the local culture of the place, that makes a perfect gathering place for crawfish boils and barbecues.
while the ground level site should prove to be successful, opportunities for views of the city skyline across the river’s bend at algiers point truly drove the scheme’s massing strategy. an upper-level covered exterior corner deck adjacent to the interior social spaces of the kitchen, living, and dining rooms visually links the activities of home to the extended context of the city. like the leake avenue and dreaux strategies, the interior social spaces are located at upper levels so that distant views and sunsets may be enjoyed–opportunities that are unfortunately limited by the city’s perimeter levee system.
the scheme is currently under construction.
Construction: Michael Mechtenberg Construction