EskewDumezRipple has recently finished work on The Beacon, a new apartment complex in downtown New Orleans. The 7-story building contains 126 residential units and ground floor retail and provides a calming oasis in which to live and escape the hustle and bustle of a thriving commercial corridor. Discover more after the jump.
From the architects: The Beacon is a 172,000-square-foot, seven-story residential building that takes it’s inspiration from the city’s historic French Quarter courtyard buildings. In contrast to the typical residential courtyard block accessible only to the residents of the building, this courtyard opens directly onto Girod Street; creating an amenity not only for the building, but the neighborhood and new development as a whole. This pro-vides a calming oasis for the 126 residential units and a unique public space in which to live and escape the hustle and bustle of a thriving commercial corridor. The development is enhanced by 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail which is integrated into the project.
Expanding upon the reinterpretation of New Orleans’ reputation as a “hidden gem,” the themes throughout this space are rooted in the imagery and textures of a geode–a vibrant array of colors throughout the interior in contrast to the subdued, austere exterior grays, and metallic features.
Where the street facing façade is composed of dark brick, the inward-facing courtyard walls are clad in light metal panels to reflect sunlight into the space, creating a warm, welcoming experience. Shadow boxes along the windows create an articulated exterior that can be seen from both intersecting streets. Throughout the day, shadows stretch across the subdued grey brick, creating an ever-evolving, multi-textured skin. The varied banding is laid out in a staggering pattern that produces an austere, but animated façade.
Offering contemporary, loft-inspired and spacious one- and two-bedroom floor plans, the interior blends contemporary style with eclectic taste. The design sought to provide a neutral palette of grays and whites for residents to customize while keeping with the overall building design; a clean and welcoming space enhanced by a focus on detail and texture. Additional attention was paid to items like kitchen islands, walk-in closets, and full size bathrooms to give the space a larger feel while maintaining a compact unit footprint.
The entry stairs are carved out and set at an angle, creating a fissure that separates the public and private entrances from one another. While guests are directed up and into the courtyard, residents are able to bypass the stairs and access the lobby without interference. The procession up through the building leads guests and residents off the hustle of a thriving commercial corridor into a tranquil elevated courtyard, and provides a connection to the rooftop terrace that offers views back over the city they just escaped.
Unlike the traditional New Orleans French Quarter courtyard, built as an exclusive space reserved for private gatherings, the interior courtyard within this building is designed to be open and inclusive; a way to seamlessly experience the entire space from street entrance to rooftop terrace. The fourth-floor terrace provides an enclosed space for guests and residents to relax, eat, and drink in a more intimate setting. Serving as the pinnacle of the resident experience, this rooftop terrace includes a lounge area, wood-paneled bar, and expansive seating areas. Surrounded by calming grey tones and tasteful vegetation, this area offers a quiet lounge with a modern aesthetic.
EskewDumezRipple project team
Steve Dumez, FAIA
Jose Alvarez, AIA, LEED AP
Hussein Alayyan, LEED AP BD+C
Wendy Kerrigan, AIA
Project consultant team
EskewDumezRipple (Architecture and Interiors)
Spackman Mossop+Michaels (Landscape Architect)
Woodward Engineering Group (Civil & Structural Engineering)
Pontchartrain Mechanical (Mechanical Engineering)
Northside Electric Inc. (Electrical Engineering)
Woodward Design+Build (General Contractor)
Find more projects by EskewDumezRipple: www.eskewdumezripple.com