Isidore Newman SchoolLower School
New Orleans, Louisiana
In 2001 the firm was commissioned to design a new Lower School complex for Isidore Newman School incorporating an existing two story classroom building built in the 1970’s. Site analysis indicated that the $6.5M complex should be composed of three structures, two new, all linked by bridges and walkways. As the school had acquired two street rights-of-way in an expansion decades ago, the buildings were sited to preserve street view corridors and urban continuity as well as to segregate and define outdoor open spaces for the students. The two new buildings, the David Oreck Primary Building and the Percival Stern Early Education Center, are connected by a two story bridge element that forms a Science Garden and Entry Court at the end of a former street axis. The existing Lower School Building (grades 3-5) is connected to the other two by a two story Entry Hall that serves the entire complex. The streetscape is intended to be lively and broken into a series of linked masses to bring the scale of the long façade down to that of the vernacular structures in the neighborhood. Pitched roof forms, horizontal zinc wall panels (which emulate the texture of the drop siding typical of local houses), stucco and brick cladding combine with strong color to make the buildings relate to both the neighborhood context and the balance of the school campus. The buildings also define a large playground sheltered from the busy street. The Oreck Building’s south façade is punctuated by sunshades and brise soleil elements along with a series of colorful patterned glass bay windows that break down the scale of the long façade into legible elements. The Stern Building, which houses the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs, incorporates residential scaled elements such as colored stucco, outdoor bays with playful fenestration and a pitched roof.
Awards2004, “Best of New Local Architecture”, New Orleans Magazine
2005, Honor Award, AIA Louisiana
2007, Honor Citation, AIA Gulf States Region
2007, Merit Award, AIA New Orleans