Clad in copper louvers, the open-air 'porch' at the front of the structure is intended as a modern interpretation of the porches and balconies of the surrounding structure, such as the Pioneer Pub next door.

Clad in copper louvers, the open-air 'porch' at the front of the structure is intended as a modern interpretation of the porches and balconies of the surrounding structure, such as the Pioneer Pub next door.

Credit: Timothy Hursley


Category: Bond
Award
Mixed-use briefs are typical fare for architects nowadays, but New Orleans–based Trahan Architects was dealt an especially tricky hand in their latest commission. The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum is an institutional project that’s actually two institutions in one—a new home for a history museum as well as for a museum of statewide sports memorabilia formerly housed on a nearby university campus. Squeezing both into a 28,000-square-foot structure in the rural town of Natchitoches took a bit of doing: putting objects like a football helmet side by side with a traditional Indian artifact would seem a bit improbable. So the design team had to find a way of making the programmatic combo work under one roof.

  • Entrance under the copper-slat canopy.

    Credit: Timothy Hursley

    Entrance under the copper-slat canopy.
To find a formal starting point for their design solution, the team turned to the local landscape—specifically, to the adjacent Cane River Lake, the commercial and ecological lifeblood of the region. The structure takes its cue from the oxbows, curves, and divagations that mark the path of the narrow 32-mile-long lake, which was once a bustling steamboat corridor that connected to the Red River. These are expressed in a quasi-conical foyer that acts as the heart of the structure, with its twisted, sculpted interior (made of 1,100 cast stone panels) that was inspired by the convolutions of the waterway.

As juror David Jameson, put it, “If you think sports are about movement, it’s really interesting that this is a very kinetic building, and you feel like someone could be swimming through it or running through it.” The novel solution inside is complemented by a gently contextual exterior that also drew praise from the panel: Fellow judge Sheila Kennedy praised the building’s pleated copper cladding, meant to echo the clapboard siding of the historic buildings of the area, “as de rigueur” for Louisiana and “a nice offset to the discovery of what the space is like on the inside.”


See all of the winners of ARCHITECT's 2013 Annual Design Review here.

For additional coverage of the Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, please read Aaron Betsky's piece from the August 2013 issue of ARCHITECT.

Inside, in the public spaces, cast-stone walls give way to Italian floor tile from Flor Gres. In the first-floor galleries, which hold exhibits related to the Sports Hall of Fame, the tile transitions to warm wood from Allegheny Millwork.

Inside, in the public spaces, cast-stone walls give way to Italian floor tile from Flor Gres. In the first-floor galleries, which hold exhibits related to the Sports Hall of Fame, the tile transitions to warm wood from Allegheny Millwork.

Credit: Timothy Hursley

View up the main staircase from the first floor.

View up the main staircase from the first floor.

Credit: Timothy Hursley

At the center of the building is a curvaceous atrium with a staircase leading to the second-level galleries.

At the center of the building is a curvaceous atrium with a staircase leading to the second-level galleries.

Credit: Timothy Hursley

Gallery interior.

Gallery interior.

Credit: Timothy Hursley



Project Credits

Project  Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, Natchitoches, La. 
Client  State of Louisiana, Office of Facility, Planning & Control 
Architect  Trahan Architects, New Orleans—Victor F. “Trey” Trahan, III, FAIA (design principal); Brad McWhirter, AIA (project architect); Ed Gaskin, AIA, Mark Hash, Michael McCune, AIA (designers); Sean David, Blake Fisher, Erik Herrmann, David Merlin, Assoc. AIA, Benjamin Rath, Judson Terry (project team) 
Interior Designer  Lauren Bombet Interiors 
M/E/P/FP Engineer  Associated Design Group 
Structural Engineer  LBYD 
Civil Engineer  CSRS 
Geotechnical Engineer  GeoConsultants 
General Contractor  VCC 
Landscape Architect  Reed Hilderbrand Associates 
BIM Manager and Technology Consultant  Case 
Cast Stone Support Steel Geometry and Detailing  Method Design 
Cast Stone Support Steel Engineer  David Kufferman 
Acoustics  SH Acoustics 
Waterproofing  Water Management Consultants & Testing 
Size  28,000 square feet 
Cost  $12.6 million

Material and Sources 
Acoustical Panel Ceilings  Hunter Douglas hunterdouglascontract.com 
Acoustical Systems  Whisper Walls whisperwalls.com 
Acoustical Tile Ceilings  Armstrong armstrong.com 
All Glass Doors  CRL www.crl-arch.com 
Carpet  Shaw Contract Group shawcontractgroup.com 
Cast Stone  Advanced Cast Stone (manufacturer) advancedcaststone.com; Masonry Arts (installer) masonryarts.com 
Elevator  Kone us.kone.com 
Exhibits  Explus www.explusinc.com 
Exterior Air and Weather Barrier  Henry Co. us.henry.com 
Exterior Rainscreen Manufacturer  A2MG a2mg.com 
Exterior Rainscreen Installer  F.L. Crane & Sons flcrane.com 
Fabric Reinforced Waterproofing  American Hydrotech hydrotechusa.com 
Flush Wood Doors  Algoma Hardwoods www.algomahardwoods.com 
Glass Systems  Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope oldcastlebe.com 
Gypsum  National Gypsum nationalgypsum.com 
Hanger Doors  Schweiss Hydraulic Doors hydraulicdoors.com 
Hollow Metal Doors and Frames  MPI Group metalproductsinc.com 
HVAC  McQuay International daikinmcquay.com 
Lighting  Bega-Us (exterior) bega-us.com; Cooper Lighting (interior) cooperlighting.com 
Lighting Controls  Lehigh lehighdim.com 
Manufactured Quartz  Dupont Zodiaq zodiaq.com 
Millwork and Wood Flooring  Allegheny Millwork alleghenymillwork.com 
Operable Partitions  Hufcor hufcor.com 
Paints and Finishes  Sherwin-Williams sherwin-williams.com 
Plumbing Fixtures  Toto totousa.com 
Roofing  Johns Manville johnsmanville.com 
Sealants  Tremco tremcosealants.com 
Skylights  Sunshine Rooms sunshinerooms.com 
Tiling  Floor Gres floorgres.it 
Toilet Compartments  Ampco Products ampco.com 
Wayfinding  ASI Signage Innovations asisignage.com