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tHE nEW oRLEANS mUSIC dOCUMENTARY cENTER

Colleen Cassidy

Comprehensive Studio 2012 University of Kansas


A compilation of work by Colleen Cassidy from 4th Year Comprehensive Studio in the Masters of Architecture Program at the University of Kansas under the study of Robert Riccardi and Dominique Davison in the Spring of 2012.


Authentic New Orleans Music Groups Jean Eric picture: http://modmobilian.com/uploads/2011/06/jeaneric1-300x240.jpg

Wild Magnolias picture: http://www.neworleans.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/WildMagnolias.jpg

Rebirth Brass Band picture: http://blog.nola.com/keithspera/2008/05/large_Rebirth.JPG

Street Performers picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/New_Orleans_-_street_music.


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


NO Center also sees part of its mission as collecting and preserving the audiovisual heritage of New Orleans and making it available to as many users as possible. The institute’s collections form an important part of the New Orleans cultural heritage. The archive is a unique source of information for research, not only for students and academics, but also for journalists, international production companies and broadcasting organizations. New material is added to the collection on a daily basis. Digitalization is an essential part of this preservation, both for efficient long-term management and for making the collection accessible.

cOMPREHENSIVE

This semester will focus upon the design of the New Orleans Center for Documentary Studies (NO Center). It is imagined as associated with the New Orleans community, drawing upon neighborhood and university writers and artists to create portraits of the people and places of New Orleans. It’s mission is to teach, engage and present documentary work grounded in collaborative partnerships and extended fieldwork that uses photography, film/video, audio and narrative writing to capture and convey contemporary memory, life and culture. Through writing, interviews, audio / photographic / film recordings, the work is developed and edited, ultimately broadcasted or exhibited, and archived. NO Center �promotes documentary work that cultivates progressive change by amplifying voices, advancing human dignity, engendering respect among individuals, breaking down barriers to understanding and illuminating social justices.


With this project, I want to provide opportunity for connection... human connection, knowledge connection, cultural connection. New Orleans is not only an urban fabric that is unlike any other in the world, but that fabric is made up of endless threads. The story of how these musical threads came to be in their invaluable connection is one that needs to be cherished and shared with the world. But what I hope to achieve through the architectural space is a connection that extends outside its walls and into the universe. For example, a low income individual with a beat-up brass instrument passed down from his grandfather would be able to have the opportunity to share is musical gift on the NO Center radio station one day. His talent is heard by a high-status talent agent and gets offered an opportunity to record his music professionally. It should remind the residents of New Orleans of how beautiful and rich their culture is, and educate visitors so they can put that newfound knowledge into the universe. The brilliance of the architecture is how it impacts the life. Not in the way the building looks, but in how it performs. The purity of its function and the execution of the intended function should improve society in a humble but elegant way. In a context like New Orleans, the architecture should not distract from the unique way of life. I will develop the building design through honoring the diverse culture, highlighting the vibrant way of living, emphasizing the history of the place, preserving the soul of the city, and sharing opportunity with the world. I want to pull from the connection to the water, the connection to the land, and the connection to the people. With the blessing of current technology combined with a personal value of honoring pure construction and engaging the human sense, I feel this could be a piece of architecture that goes far beyond sitting on a piece of land. It will have a physical, emotional, experiential , functional connection to its immediate and outside world. It will become the harnessing and distributing portal for the most valuable possession there is... opportunity. In New Orleans, everyone is a musician. Whether someone has a famously acclaimed band such as the Rebirth Brass Band or someone is standing on a street corner in the French Quarter playing a dented 50 year old trumpet, everyone has a gift to share. It is not about the stage. It is not about the lights. It is not about getting a record deal. The music of New Orleans is the universal language of past, present, and future. Music is used to celebrate. Music is used to mourn. Music is a way to unite strangers and locals with a visual and auditory performance. Music can tell an entire story. Which is why I knew my mission had to be about giving the music a place to live, grow and be shared. I wanted New Orleans to tell its stories through the music.


My mission is to create a megaphone, both in form and in function. My building must act as a venue for music to be seen and heard, whether a listener is present or not. There will be a local megaphone which will engage the surrounding community visually with a public stage. This will be the piece in which performers of all kind can have free and public access to a stage in which to share their gifts. There will also be a global megaphone which will reach people auditorily through a radio element. By combining these performance missions, the project will become a living archive of storytelling through music. It does not discriminate the type of musician, their level of popularity, or what kind of house they come home to. Everyone should be given the equal right to share a gift that has been passed down from generation to generation in the history of New Orleans.


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


New Orleans has been a richly rooted city since the early 1700’s, but in August of 2005, a natural disaster forever impacted the life and history of this beloved city. Hurricane Katrina surged through Louisiana flooding 80% of the city with levels up to 15 feet of water. 125 mile per hour winds destroyed whatever the water did not. The disaster had major implications on the economy, politics, architecture, culture, and people. The people of New Orleans did not wish this upon themselves, but it instantly became their job to rebuild the city as best they could to its original glory. There are many scars that the hurricane left that will be a part of their cities fabric forever. For example, the picture of the authentic New Orleans shotgun house to the left was taken in 2009. Even 5 years after the disaster, homes can still be seen with the markings the Marine Corps used to indicate a house had been searched and weather or not dead bodies had been found only a few days after Katrina.

Street Culture is what makes New Orleans the incredible place it is. This image perfectly summarizes the dynamic array of rich culture that takes place against a backdrop of the historical French quarter. Old grimy streets instantly transform into a stage for all ages, races, and genders can perform for the world. Even for just a moment, they can showcase whatever talents they have in the spotlight of the radiant city. Speaking from personal experience, I have never experienced anything this moving. I have never seen the culture of a place so alive. Every turn around the corner holds something new. The talent of even the poorest street performer with the oldest instrument is comparable to that of wealthy professionals. Everyone has the opportunity to be on stage. Music and performance is so heavily rooted in the New Orleans culture that it pours through the streets in all hours of the day. Even funerals are celebrated with the live sounds of brass music in procession. From the blues to jazz to rock and roll, to hip hop, and everywhere in between, music is just as much a part of New Orleans as the people themselves.

From a young age, we are rooted to understand the relationship between New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Not only does the holiday itself hold strong meaning to the city. But it is also a symbol for the rich, lively, dynamic way of life that is lived year round. It is through Mardi Gras that New Orleans is associated with slogans such as “Let the good times role” and “The Big Easy”. These are both mantras that are lived out on a daily basis, not just during the celebratory events of Mardi Gras. And if dressing up in provocative, vibrant costumes and marching the streets throwing beads isn’t crazy enough, New Orleans is also know for other obscure aspects of their culture that cannot be found many places in the world. Voodoo, ghosts, and the undead are taken very seriously in this great city. There is even a national “Voodoo Fest” in the city every year. Regardless, the complexity and obscurity of tradition and beliefs that make up New Orleans are the very threads that hold it together. We can all learn something from the celebratory way of living. Even after Katrina, the people still found the happiness of the city and let the good times role. No matter what.

Even the cuisine in New Orleans his a stronger historical context than most of the United States alone. Being a marine city and one of the first established townships in the early days of colonizing North America, the cuisine has many international roots. French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Cajun, Cuban, and Creole traditions can all be found in the dishes of the area. While food may seem like a simple concept, this is a huge part of the New Orleans culture and they take pride in the richness of their dishes, reflecting the richness of the city they live in. But the staple of Louisiana specialties is the seafood that is so local and highly accessible. Signs like the one seen to the left truly remind you of where you are, in case you may have forgotten.


tHE bIG eASY


Lake Pontchartrain

Lower Ninth Ward French Quarter Bywater District Magazine Street Site Mississippi River


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


PRIVA VATE / RESIDENTIAL Porch Culture Dense Grid Private Green Space Sheltered Community Familiarity


Commercial Public Platfo f rm Indoor/Outdoor Industrial Rich Culture

pRIVATE & pUBLIC

PUBLIC / COMMERCIAL


MAGAZINE STREET CORRIDOR Magazine St - Felicity St - Richard St, NOLA

“Magazine Street — one of New Orleans’ premier shopping and entertainment districts — is an unpar-

collection of neighborhoods with a diverse array of businesses, shops, restaurants and hot spots. It’s where people live, work, play and enjoy the good life that New Orleans has to ofalleled

fer. In short, ... it’s the Place to be in New Orleans” - Magazine Street Merchants Association


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


PRIVATE RADIO

THEATER

PUBLIC


Public Lobby/Gallery Concessions/Small Catering Kitchen Blackbox Theater CATEGORY B Radio Station Storytelling Recording Spaces

Theater & stage = 2,520 sq. ft.

Radio & support = 3,500 sq.ft.

Gathering Blackbox Support Administrative Post-Production/Editing Rooms Equipment Storage Data Storage Server Employee Lounge OTHER Outdoor interactive space (theater, screen, rooftop,etc.)

Gallery / Service = 4,000 sq.ft.

Administration = 1,740 sq.ft.

Total Footprint 136’ x136’

bREAKDOWN

CATEGORY A


A

O

PRIVATEA

PUBLIC


cONCEPTS


Courtyard Studies Precedent Research

Along with the strong porch culture of New Orleans, many building programs have some kind of outdoor connection, plaza, and courtyard. Ironically, most precedents matching our project place type also had this outdoor connection incorporated into their program.

Pat O’Brians

Napoleon House

1 2 3 4

1. Gabriela Cultural Center - Chile 2. Arthouse - Texas 3. Poetry Foundation - Chicago 4. Columbia Media Studies - Chicago


Photo by Matt Ransom


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


The Wild Beast - Hodgetts & Fung Design

Photos from Archdaily & CalArts


The performance venue has the ability to open up into the outdoors. It has an outdoor connection while also allowing for flexibility and a special atmosphere for performances.

The ‘performance space’ is versatile enough to transform for multiple programs. The building is not strictly designed for limited uses, providing greater opportunity for use.

The Wild Beast can also be utilized during night hours. Culturally, music does not sleep in New Orleans and neither should my building’s program spaces.

pRECEDENT

Like my mission, The Wild Beast also uses its form to achieve its function as an indoor and outdoor performance space. The unique shape not only assists the acoustics but is also a way of drawing people to the area.


Jeju Provincial Art Museum- Gansam Architects

Photos from Archdaily


This design expands even deeper than just art exhibits. The spaces allow for outdoor and indoor performances or public gatherings. There is a loosely defined plaza space that maintains the outdoor connection piece.

While the design is rectilinear, there is a dynamic movement and a language between solid and transparent. The outside walls protect the fragile beauty of the fenestration.

Just like the Wild Beast and my personal mission, this precedent also allows for multiple hours of use and access. Nighttime events provide a festive atmosphere that draws peoples’ interest.

pRECEDENT

The Jeju Provincial Art Museum has a surrounding, permeable facade. There is a definition of space but people and program can flow in and out of it freely.


Apart from the precedents researched, the inspiration for the form of my design came from my first concept model. I knew I wanted to play upon the uniqueness of our triangular site. In a grid structured city, any moment that breaks said grid should be cherished and celebrated. The project also needed a visual marker of where gathering should take place. The big move of this extreme cantilever reaches out to those walking down the intersecting streets and draws them into the program. It is an extension of the New Orleans porch. There is a space for people to sit, talk, and play music along the street scape with a protective roof overhead. In order for my building to act as a megaphone and a venue for public sharing, its form must do so as well. The rich culture of New Orleans matches the arrangement of the site. It breaks the grid.


tHE bIG mOVE


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


February

RADIO

ADMINISTRATION

COURTYARD GALLERY STAGE

Theate Outdoor Theater

r

Recording Studio

Radio Support Backstage / Stage Loading / Mechanical

STAGE

(OPENS TO BOTH SIDES)

Mechanical

Radio Lobby

Station 2

ADMINISTRATION PATIO

Indoor Theater

Kitchen

Station 1

Open Cafe Space

Gallery

Main

e anc

Entr

OUTDOOR STAGE

March


eVOLUTION


INDOOR THEATER KITCHEN

GALLERY CAFE AREA

CAFE AREA

OUTDOOR STAGE

MAIN

ENTRA

NCE

magazine street

BACK ALLEY / SERVICE

RADIO

MECHANICAL

RECORDING

STAGE

RADIO ENTRANCE

RADIO SUPPORT STAGE LOADING / STORAGE


LOBBY

LOUNGE OVERLOOK

magazine street

STAGE OVERLOOK

ADMINISTRATION

BACK ALLEY / SERVICE

BAR

fLOORPLANS

OUTDOOR PATIO


sOUTH eLEVATION


eAST eLEVATION


EAST ADMINISTRATION OUTDOOR PATIO

GALLERY

OUTDOOR STAGE

RADIO

RADIO ENTRANCE

NORTH ADMINISTRATION

BAR

STAGE OVERLOOK

RECORDING

RADIO

INDOOR THEATER

STAGE LOADING / STORAGE


WEST OUTDOOR PATIO

STAGE OVERLOOK

STAGE

INDOOR THEATER

CAFE AREA

OUTDOOR STAGE

LOUNGE OVERLOOK

KITCHEN

INDOOR THEATER

SOUTH ADMINISTRATION

GALLERY


a dAY oN tHE pORCH


mUSIC oF tHE nIGHT


mISSION cITY sITE pROGRAM iNSPIRATION dESIGN fUNCTION


MOVE

SUPPORT

AMPLIFY

INDOOR STAGE OUTDOOR STAGE

PERFORM


PUBLIC

E T A V I R P SEE / HEAR

bUILDING pERFORMANCE

E G A T S


Average Monthly Temperatures JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

100˚ F

91

93

93

76

76

87 80˚ F

60˚ F

81

80 74

73 63

WINTER

55

54 45

65

63

61

December / January 12:00pm

73

72

69

67

89

48

48

40˚ F

March 12:00pm 20˚ F

SPRING May 12:00pm

0˚ F

12 in

July 12:00pm

10 in

SUMMER/FALL

7.94

8 in

September 12:00pm

7.14 6.20 5.80

6 in 4.90

4.71

4.74 4.35

4.42 3.79

4 in

4.11

4.34

2 in

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Diagram by Nick Fratta

Average Monthly Rainfall


RAIN COLLECTION

rOOF pERFORMANCE


Plywood topped with Rubber Membrane Shaped Rigid Insulation Metal Decking Custom Metal Shaping Piece Custom Metal Truss

Wall / Roof Section


3” Acoustic wood cladding 3/4” Furring Strips 1” Rigid Insulation Vapor Barrier 6” Batting Insulation 14 ‘ - 0”

3/4” Furring Strips Interior Cladding


Building Section of Eastern Facade


Material advertised by Wall Quotes Decals

Any facade that surrounds music performance in my design is cladded with this acoustical wood cladding material. This not only gives a visual reference to the main music spaces but also allows for optimum sound performance. Many buildings along Magazine Street are clad with painted wood. This material allow me to maintain the language of the popular material while providing a unique look that suggests a unique program on the street.


mATERIALITY


PRIVA

The mechanic and HVAC room is located on the private side of the building near the service access alley.

collection

custom roof tr

uss

C

The HVAC and mechanics must adjust around the center theater space.


sTRUCTURE Mechanical and structural systems of the Algiers Library by Gould Evans in New Orleans.


But for the most part, I think it is very strong in terms of attention to circulation, placement of program based on my mission statement, stacking of bathroom and mechanical systems, along with it staying true to my concept. From what I saw on Friday, there were some people who were still in ‘boxes on a page’ stage and I feel like I have put a lot of work into thinking of them as more than just boxes stacked against one another in a double-loaded corridor. My strength lies in an interlocking, dynamic plan of flexible spaces. However, from this point forward, my work needs to be designed in SECTION. While I have constantly thought about my building’s section throughout the process, it has not yet been represented or fully designed in section scale alone. My thinking was that I needed to first achieve a successful plan and the section would follow but I have realized that they must work hand in hand and designed simultaneously. While I personally feel I have maintained a constant balance between designing through concept and designing through plan, I feel my design may be more left-brain oriented at the moment. The concept of my design lies more in the ideas of how I want my building to function rather than a clear design concept that begins to influence the plan, the section, the materials, etc. For example, this stuck out to me most during Christie’s review in which she described her concept of a sponge. This ‘sponge’ began to draw people from the street and through ‘capillary’ action brought them up into the spaces. This sponge concept can then be connected into her plan, her section, how she designs the skin, how the interior functions, and so on. I may be wrong but I feel I need to get a greater understanding of my concept, deeper than just private/public, flexibility, and unity through music. The next design issue to resolve in my case is the cantilevered rood that has become the ‘big move’ of my project. I would actually begin to argue that this has been the closest thing to a conceptual moment thus far in my project. I feel strongly about my roof idea and its ability to create a performance venue, to pull people from the street, to shelter from the rain, and add a unique twist on the porch culture of New Orleans. But what I do not want to happen is having this roof be a ‘hat’ on my building rather than something that is strategically and elegantly integrated into my design. The building should inform the roof while the roof informs the building. I had begun to address on Friday with the shape and organization of the roof design, seen in the 1-32” model I made. But the comment was made that is was straying further from my original intuition of my ‘big move’. I was trying to make it more of an open gesture the funneled people into the space while at the same time acting as an instrument in itself with a shape that projected sound down Magazine Street. But by going with this idea, I compromised having my cantilever act as a rain and sun shelter, almost defeating the purpose of it altogether. I need to investigate if there should be a balance between to two ideas or if one is stronger than the other. In relation back to my comment on the need for a concept, I think this would help me avoid the possibility of divorcing my roof from the program and vice versa. I need and want to achieve a language throughout my design that has clarity and functionality. Apart from the actual design of my building, I feel the weakest part of my presentation was the graphic display, which has always been one of my weaknesses. While the thinking is there and I feel I am strong at verbally communicating and presenting my ideas, my graphics need to do that as well. There needs to be more of a consistency in my graphics and clarity of what they are trying to display. I also had a wide use of color to help explain the different programs and their relation to one another. Some people commented that this technique did make the message of my graphics easier to understand but during review it was said that there was too much color in the layout. I need to find a better balance with this. For example, Anne always has such clean and professional layouts of her work. Sam had very clear programmatic and contextual graphics Jesse incorporated beautiful context graphics. And Joe utilized highly detailed 3-dimensional model work. I would love to find a balance between all of their work for my future presentations. I always get stuck in a place of wanting to FULLY represent my project and thinking which sometimes lands me in a place of quantity over quality. I really want to learn how to beautifully and clearly represent multiple ideas through one document instead of having multiple documents with multiple diagrams done in a mediocre fashion. I feel my strength is always my process work, the evolution of my design, and my verbal presentation. I need to work on my graphic display and representation of my formal work as well as finding ways to represent a broader range of information in a more condensed fashion.

qUARTER sEMESTER rEVIEW

After Friday’s review and much reflection, I have discovered both positive aspects of my project that I want to refine and parts of my project that need more detailed design attention. I feel the design of my plan has been thorough and well thought out. There are parts of it I still want to investigate and adjust, for example the main entrance. A comment was made that it may be unclear to a visitor as to wear the main entrance is. Another thing I would like to investigate is my proportion in my plan, primarily in relation to the courtyard and the program. While the organization of my plan is mainly where I want it, I feel there needs to be more understanding and study on how deep, wide, and tall each space is. And maybe my courtyard does not have to be a perfect square. Maybe it begins to weave itself into the program more. My next step with knowing that is doing detailed studies of my program, primarily my circulation, and making sure that I do not have too much or too little space in the layout of my plan.


Chad Kraus • The theater and the radio have the same purpose and the same function and need to function as ONE entity, even more than in the current design. The private performance courtyard is not New Orleans style, nor functional to their style of culture. They want to be big, loud, open, and in the streets. This also allows for the porches across the street to be integrated. The theater acts as the local radio megaphone while the radio station is the regional megaphone. Both need to function as so. • A great analogy for the back patio mentioned by Chad was, “If my eye itches then a just itch my eye. I don’t want to have to bring my right arm around my head to itch my right eye. It is more work and a less functional way of achieving the same outcome”. • Why a box? If the indoor/outdoor theater is designed for the sharing of music, why can’t the building shape act as a ‘megaphone’ for the music? Consider the shaping of the roof along with the grading of the front patio. Rick Powell • His feedback was more about the overall presentation. I did not have as much time with him. Most of his comments were small, nit-picky things to make the project even clearer to a reviewer, but really liked and appreciated the overall project, especially the ‘big move’ of the roof. • Apart from having the architectural scale on the drawings, also show a visual representation of how many feet 1 inch equals, and so on. This helps the reviewer truly understand the true dimensions of your design instead of just knowing it’s 1”=16’ scale. • He also suggested designing a personal name logo to put on the presentation so even if you are not standing by your presentation, people can see and know whose work it is. Steve Hofmeister (structural engineer) • Of the designs he saw during the review, my structural design and placement of my load-bearing walls was the clearest and most functional. He said my design would be the easiest to clad in terms of function. • He also gave a great suggestion of having the wall of the performance space being able to slide over and block off the radio and staircase so if you wanted to have an event where just the theater is used then everything else could be blocked off from the public. • A great trick he taught me was to turn your building/floorplan on each of its sides and imagine wind blowing directly into it. This will tell you where you need to put your beams perpendicular to the walls in order for it to be structurally sound. Chris Beshears • Apart from similar feedback as listed above, he very much appreciated my presentation layout and color scheme. He felt all my graphics and material represented the ‘full picture’ of my project. I personally worked very hard to improve the clarity and design of my layout from how I had it for the Jury Room review, so I was extremely happy to hear it being recognized. • He agreed in wanting the project to function more as an instrument for music in itself and thought that the project would accomplish this elegantly with the elimination of the private performance space and integrating one huge performance venue and emphasizing the porch culture.

mID sEMESTER rEVIEW

Matt Kleinman • Consider the arrival to the space. How are people approaching and being welcomed by the building from both sides of Magazine Street and even Richard Street. Right now, is it really functioning best as a ‘front door’? • I was one of the only people to include Richard Street in my site context diagram, which allowed for the ‘big picture’ of the Magazine to be represented. From that spurred the question of ways to consider not just Felicity and Magazine but Richard as well. Matt suggested that maybe the performance space because an extension of Richard Street, as if it almost turns off of the road and into the performance zone. This way all aspects of the area – commercial, residential, and industrial – are represented and included in the building design. It becomes a universal ‘porch’ for all. • The roof needs to continue to be ‘hashed out’ to ensure it is functional and not just a move. There is a lot of fenestration on the south side as well as people walking down Magazine Street so there needs to be more of a dialogue between the roof and the south side of the structure. • Add more rigor and understanding to the materials and the meaning behind them. Make sure they are not just ‘randomly’ integrated. What kind of wood is it? Is it native to New Orleans? How does it relate to the people and the place?



The New Orleans Music Center Project Book