architecture and design
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DOWNTOWN NOW | new public space for a reactivated city


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Bywater Aquatic Center


Tasked with combining an aquatic center with a hotel, spa, restaurant, and commercial spaces into one complex on a post-industrial site, this proposal sought to string the program elements together in a linear fashion which is wrapped back on itself to create dynamic exterior courtyard spaces. Through this manipulation, all of the activity on the site is funneled through the center of the site to allow for greater interaction between visitors to the site. Furthermore, the wrapping of the program creates visual programmatic relationships across all of the program elements.

Organizationally, the program is situated in a way to encourage pedestrian use of the site, allowing the aquatic center and retail space  to have the most interaction with the surrounding neighborhood. Parking is accommodated towards the back of the site. The ground plane was lifted up to allow for a public park space with views of the industrial canal from it.

Project Team : Marcus Allen, Ian O’Cain

Warhol Gallery + Offices

The Warhol Gallery and Office was a study in the duality of program type. Faced with a program requiring spec office space alongside a public gallery and auditorium, the project sought to define the vastly different entities as separate while still having them coexist harmoniously on site and tie in to the proposed Reinventing the Crescent liner park plan that the site is situated on.

The resulting massing followed the idea of an object in a field. The public gallery and auditorium occupy the ground level of the site and act as an extension of the park itself. They are formed under a triangulated landscape as objects that emerge to greet guests. Where the landscape becomes too steep to support vegetation growth, concrete louvers screen glass facades to allow light in for the “underground” spaces.

The office itself sits as a pure glass cube on top of this created landscape. A fritted glass rain screen is applied to assist in cooling efforts for the building. Frit density changes across = facade in response to sun movement and views out to the river and city.


UrbanBuild 7 [v house prototype]

Designed as part of Tulane University’s UrbanBuild program, the V house is a proposal for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1200 sf single family home in the low income neighborhood of Central City. The lot provided for this design was not that of a typical New Orleans shotgun lot, instead the lot was an almost square 65’ by 62’ lot which was a combination of two substandard lots. This unusual lot size provided the opportunity for interesting explorations that are not normally done in a New Orleans residential design setting.

The V house is designed to create an enticing series of spaces in the entrance sequence leading to the back porch, the interconnecting bridge piece. The V shape is created separating the two programmatic branches, one public and the other private, while angling the public branch to create optimal solar lighting and gain and create a more open inner porch space. The porch not only creates a sanctuary of an interior/ exterior space, but also allows all parts of the main public bar to connect visually with the exterior and the other rooms across the porch.

Project Team : Clayton Kaul, Ian O’Cain

Hands On New Orleans Bunk House

Asked to design a new home for Hands On New Orleans’ office and bunk house operations for fundraising, the project sought to give both program elements their own definition while allowing them to share in the peaceful qualities of the large site.

The buildings created parallel each other on the long tapering site with the office fronting the main street of Washington Ave. and the bunk house fronting the opposite direction opening to the parking lot to allow for bus loading and unloading for volunteers on a daily basis.

The form of both buildings was developed in response to the multitude of programmatic elements asked to be fitted in each. The design seeks to give each element its own bar that is then shifted back and forth in an attempt to dissolve the line between interior and exterior space.

Lusher Elementary Play-Yard


Academic Work

Project Team: Tyler Guidroz, Ian O’Cain, Guan Wang

– We asked: What would happen if A.I. determined a urban traffic system layout?
– Research product: Organic networks of path are formed with ultra efficiency and acknowledge intersections through a three dimensional algorithmic process

[click image to expand and see detailed GH + C# script]




Vieux Carre Library

Situated on a large lot in a busy area of the French Quarter of New Orleans, the design sought to create a library that responded to the historic nature of its surroundings. Drawing on inspiration from the courtyards and pedestrian streets in the French Quarter, the design utilized a large cut through in the site to break down the scale of the building and create a welcoming public outdoor space that could be accessed from both Toulouse and Chartres. This pedestrian street takes prominence in the scheme with all functions of the building being accessed from it.

Social functions such as the exhibit space and cafe were fronted on Toulouse Street to attract visitors that may be passing on the street and draw them towards the library. Stack areas were pulled to a sheltered position on the site away from the damaging direct sunlight let in by the cut through. The reading room and exhibit space take a special place on the site in their own massing accessed on the upper floors by bridges. Overall, the design seeks to draw visitors into its central entry on the site and circulate them through clear orbiting paths.

Architects’ Week 2011

Canvas | Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Tulane Architects’ Week | Built Installation

The installation for Tulane University’s annual Architects’ Week sought to create a place of pause out of a series of desire paths.   The 10 objects, each composed of two triangular canvases, provided surfaces for writing, drawing and painting to passerby, encouraging interaction over the installation’s duration.  By interacting with the canvases pedestrians transformed the pristine white sails into layered histories of images and text that recorded their participation.

The installation was designed to permit both quick assembly from a minimum number of components and full recyclability.  After the installation the 20 triangular canvases were distributed among the group members as souvenirs of the event.

Published: archdaily, February 22, 2011.  http://www.archdaily.com/113772/architects-week-tulane-school-of-architecture/

Group Leaders: Ian O’Cain, Brian Sulley

Group Members: Caroline Meyer, Guan Wang, Michael Kirschner, Audrey Flynn, Roland Solinski, Mira Asher, Tyler Guidrez, Marcus Allen, Wanhao Cui, Katherine DeLacy





Situated on a very compact infill site, the  microDorm project   faced  a large set of constraints. The program called for a small student dorm to be mainly occupied by upperclassmen and graduate students.  The suite style dorm consisted of five suites holding six students each and two resident advisor apartments. The program also called for a storefront in response to the dorm’s location on a commercial street. In an effort to collect natural light, the suites were grouped in stacks at the front and back of the site and connected by a bar of community space. Cutouts and light wells were developed in an effort to collect more light for the common areas of the suites and draw a connection to the central courtyard.



The program called for the design of an observation platform at the site of the break in the 17th Street Canal flood wall that caused flooding in a large portion of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The project approached the program as a direct reference to the break. The platform takes the shape of a broken wall behind which piled up water is rushing out towards the ramp. The ramp itself takes the form of the rushing water which spreads out as it leaves the break in the wall. The cladding of the platform forms the rails for the ramp and is formed using two different sized pieces of cladding. The cladding in direct contact with people suppoorting the hand rail is smaller and suggests the gentle nature of water that everyone experiences. The exterior cladding is larger and suggests the sheer mass and power of water in large amounts.