Home CULTURE Downtown Living: October 2014

Downtown Living: October 2014

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Arts: Park(ing) Day NOLA: In an effort to improve New Orleans’ public spaces, the Downtown Development District, the New Orleans Arts District Association and Tulane City Center sent out an open call to artists, designers, architects, urban planners and activists to submit design proposals that will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks.

DowntownLivingNov2013The initiative, dubbed Park(ing) Day NOLA (parkingdaynola.com), is part of an annual worldwide event that takes art to the streets. On Oct. 4, seven design teams with winning proposals will display their outdoor installations during Arts for Arts’ Sake on Julia Street between Convention Center Boulevard and St. Charles Avenue. The following winners will each receive $1,000 to complete their proposed projects:

Growing Conversation
Design Team: Where Y’Art (Catherine Todd, Caitlin Waugh, Tish Douzart and Darcy Culp)
Concept: Growing Conversation proposes an interactive conversation about community by asking questions, such as: What sources of nourishment feed the soul of New Orleans? How do we give to our community collectively and as individuals?

Navigating the Maze
Design Team: crgarchitecture with Alfia White
Concept: Navigating the Maze proposes the construction of an urban maze, diverting pedestrian traffic from the relentless linearity of the sidewalk through a series of short interconnected corridors — all vertically and horizontally aligned — with native plants that grow in wetlands and swamps.

Reflective Properties
Design Team: DesignJones, LLC (Diane Jones Allen, Austin Allen, Matty A. Williams and Kossen Miller)
Concept: Reflective Properties is an interactive place for collecting and reflecting on others and the surrounding environment. It investigates human relationships and communication across space and technology.

Swamp Retreat
Design Team: Ginette Bone and Mia Kaplan
Concept: Visitors enter Swamp Retreat while walking on lily pads that float on reflective Mylar; it’s an environment that is evocative of a bayou surface. Moving through the multicolored towering sculptures captures the experience of lush bayou vegetation.

Swing + Saddle Stop
Design Team: S3, composed of Bike Easy (Peter Bennet, Naomi Doerner and Vivek Shah), Ride New Orleans (Rachel Heiligman), Rubarb (Liz Lichtman) and freelance architect, Joe Peraino
Concept: Swing + Saddle Stop proposes an interactive design that welcomes alternative-transportation users and Julia Street revelers to take a breather pre-, post- or mid-commute, creating an exciting interplay between the sidewalk and the “park.”

The Joy of Water
Design Team: Dana Brown & Associates (Dana Brown, Chris Africh, Gaylan Williams, Amy Norval and Joe Pfeifer), Global Green USA (Linda Stone, Jeff Supak and Michelle Pyne), Urban Roots Garden Center (Tom Wolfe) and Casa Borrega (Linda Stone and Hugo Montero)
Concept: The Joy of Water will temporarily transform an existing public parking space into a vivid storm-water management exhibition that is aesthetic, educational, engaging and vernacular.

Overlay
Design Team: Tulane City Center (Marcella Del Signore, Bahareh Rana Javadi, Whitney Jordan and Jose Cotto)
Concept: Overlay proposes an environment that fosters collective interaction through the experiential qualities of the space. Through the proposed programming, visitors are continuously engaged in a game field to instigate public interaction.

Reinvigorating History: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans Refurbishes Façade
Using the original, hand-drawn blueprints of the century-old structures in which it resides, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is undergoing a $2 million refurbishment of its façade. Since 2000, the hotel has occupied two historic buildings: the former Maison Blanche and S.H. Kress Co. department stores. The project aims to restore some of the resplendent architectural features of the buildings that have either been removed during older renovations or worn away by weather and time. A heavy, elaborate pediment, which previously hung over the entrance of the Maison Blanche building, has been replaced by a lighter, fiberglass version of the original that was removed in the mid-1900s. (504) 524-1331, 921 Canal St., ritzcarlton.com/NewOrleans

Architecture: Gallier Court
The historic CBD building on Carondelet Street, originally designed by famed local architect James Gallier in the 1840s, has been renovated into a boutique apartment building that features luxurious one- and two-bedroom residences, and a commercial space on the ground floor. Josh Gertler, the developer of Gallier Court and owner of Basis Development, LLC, selected Montgomery Roth Architecture & Interior Design to renovate and restore the building, carefully melding the historical charm of the past with the amenities of today. VOM FASS New Orleans now occupies the first floor of Gallier Court, offering exclusive, cask-aged vinegars, exquisite oils, and select wines, spirits and liquors. (504) 229-2174, 127 Carondelet St., galliercourt.com