Fabric funnels create an award-winning shade-water pavilion in New Orleans
Students at the Tulane School of Architecture (TSA), New Orleans, La., have created the distinctive Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion that fulfills both aesthetic and practical requirements. The project, created through the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (SCCD), provides a neighborhood gathering place while demonstrating water management techniques.
The SCCD has had a long-term relationship with the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans where the pavilion is located. In 2008, the SCCD first designed and built a portion of a growers’ market, called the Hollygrove Market & Farm. This led the Carrollton-Hollygrove Community Development Corporation (CDC) to approach SCCD to examine a former rail line that bisected the neighborhood. The rail line was fenced in, causing it to be underutilized.
The research design studio at TSA-SCCD, led by architecture professor Judith Kinnard, FAIA, and Irene Keil, RA, worked with the CDC and neighborhood residents to envision a number of designs that could leverage the green space and improve water management in the area. An early suggestion proposed creating a refined linear park. The proposal included securing funding from the land owner, the city’s Sewerage and Water Board and local organizations, including the Surdna Foundation, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans and Engineers Without Borders. A key issue for the water board was developing improved water management strategies for the district and that site.
The bright yellow pavilion features a set of four fabric “hoppers” that act as funnels, directing rain water to four distinct places on site. “Each of the four pavilion bays collects and distributes water using different means,” says SCCD project manager Nic Jenisch, AICP. Jenisch explains, “One bay funnels water to a tank for storage and later use; two bays direct water through French drains to large rain gardens nearby that are planted with water-loving native plants, and a fourth bay funnels water to a low table so that kids and others can interact with the collected water on its way to additional rain gardens.”
The bright fabric funnels were fabricated by C. Bel Awnings Inc., of New Orleans, using a durable Phifertex® yellow fabric. The project received an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Sustainability from USGBC Louisiana and the Architecture Honorable Mention award from the New Orleans chapter of the AIA.
More information is available at https://www.aianeworleans.org/2017-aia-design-award-winners/.