These plates illustrate the complex nature of the city to the river that helped shape it.
This plate shows holocene alluvium deposits, historical flood plain extents, the Mississippi River main channel, tributaries, distributaries, and all land below 50ft elevation. New Orleans and southern Louisiana are almost entirely built on low-lying land formed over thousands of years by alluvial deposits from Mississippi River floods.
This plate shows the balanced relationship between the city and the river during early European settlement.
Plate showing natural and manmade waterways, Mississippi River distributary channels, early European settlement, and batture deposits.
This plate illustrates the rapid expansion of urban fabric in the wake of drainage improvements in the early decades of the 20th century, overlaid The underlay map illustrates a disastrous crevasse in 1849, one of the most severe floods the city had experienced before Hurricane Katrina. The city must focus on sustainable and resilient systems that accommodate the natural riverine rhythms to ensure long-term survival.
The French surveying system, or arpentage, that formed the basis for New Orleans underlying (shifting) grid has implications on the urban, neighborhood, and immediate site scales.
1/16" = 1'-0" ground plan in context.
1/32" = 1'-0" massing model in context. The Museum functions as a visual signpost signaling entry to the Marigny neighborhood from the French Quarter and Esplanade Avenue. Designed around an existing healthy sycamore tree, the museum's courtyard connect the tree canopy on Esplanade to the shaded block interior characteristic of many neighborhoods in New Orleans.
with S. Pierre
The Museum of the City incorporates several programmatic and poetic components (the Surveyor's Wall, The Wall of Books, the Wall of Light, etc.) with the aim of creating a varied spatial experience that represents and re-presents the spatial qualities of the city of New Orleans for the visitor.
1/8" = 1'-0" Model by S. Pierre
The internal gallery volume is intimately scaled and visually connected both to the street and to the courtyard.
At the intersection of Kerlerec and Royal Street in New Orleans's Marigny neighborhood, just steps from Frenchmen Street, the Museum's brise-soleil offers both shading and a opportunity to engage the vibrant life of the street during the city's many occasions of public celebration.
The Wall of Books is as a sterotomic element, here deployed as a vertical library tower. In the western side of the tower, select views of the city are strategically framed in close proximity to books on related subjects (categorized by view, e.g. French Quarter, Mississippi River, batture, Bywater, railroad)
This stairway, held between the Wall of Books and the Wall of Light, creates a space where selected views of the city are framed in near proximity to books on related subjects. Unlike the larger gallery volumes, this stairwell creates a more solitary experience of introspection and meditation.