Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field report: Tulane City Center—John Coyle

This month at the Tulane City Center (TCC) we are once again in the exciting midst of change.  The Fall 2014 Engage Design_Build Studio class is beginning construction of the interior design of the TCC office today! The service learning class was divided into three teams, each with a specific area of focus in the building.



The first group concentrated on the community storefront, which has already hosted community meetings, round table discussions and workshops.  The storefront team was responsible for designing a welcoming space to bring community members into TCC and to design features that can allow for flexible use, as the program of the space is constantly changing and evolving. Their design solution includes a counter height surface and bench along the window to provide spaces to work or sit while waiting for the shuttle.  The team designed signage for the windows and for the interior wall to inform guests on how to navigate our facility.  In anticipation of the storefront being used for gallery shows and smaller groups, the students proposed large pivoting walls to sub-divide the space when necessary.

photo 1

Rendering of the bench/counter in the storefront window

The second group was charged with the design of the main studio space, which includes an area for small business incubators, TCC staff, and up to three studio classes.  Again the challenge was to design elements that could serve multiple functions.  The partition that separates the incubator desks from the studio will be a pin-up service for reviews on the studio side and will have integrated shelving on the incubator side. The TCC staff office will be along the wall with a permeable partition so that it is a distinct space but still visually connected to the studios. Alongside the designated office space will be a series of breakout pods where the staff can work if they need more privacy.


Rendering of the break out pods in the TCC staff office space

The last area of the building is the shop, and the shop team was responsible for layout, material and tool storage.  They proposed a creative use of vertical space, where material storage racks up to six feet allows for a lofted space to be used above as a lounge or material library.

ready to pour concrete

Parisite Skatepark-ready to pour concrete

Parisite Skatepark is also coming along nicely. With the construction of the wooden forms complete, we are almost ready to pour concrete to create the walls of the structure.  This project will provide a proper entry to the park, define the corner, and catch run-off from the 610 overpass in rain gardens.  In the next few weeks, volunteer groups will be helping with the heavy lifting (moving gravel, soil and other plant material) to complete these rain gardens. TCC is partnering with Groundwork New Orleans who will be volunteering with their Green Team (a group of high school students) who will learn about architecture as a career path.



This entry was posted on October 15, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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