- Project Name
- New Home for The First 72+
- The First 72+ / Kelly Orians
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 3,200 sq. feet
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Project Status
- On the Boards/In Progress
"The domestic scale of architecture can live comfortably in a neighborhood while having a mix of living, working, and services in it. It should not be something that is separate or on the outskirts." —Juror Jeanne Gang, FAIA, founding principal and partner, Studio Gang
Assisting formerly incarcerated individuals re-entering society is particularly important in New Orleans, as Louisiana has the highest per capita prison population in the country and a recidivism rate of 34%. The First 72+, a local nonprofit, is hoping to end this cycle. Locally based OJT worked with the organization to develop a 3,200-square-foot transitional housing prototype that fulfills one of the biggest challenges facing formerly incarcerated individuals and their families: finding stable housing.
The project, based on a contemporary variation of the city’s traditional double shotgun house, can accommodate eight occupants and fit within a typical lot zoned for a two-family residence. On the wood-framed structure’s ground level are shared living and office spaces. The second floor features four two-person bedrooms, divided between two suites accessible by separate stairs and served by their own bathroom. The project massing differs from traditional precedents by its saw-toothed sloped roofs, which provide formal diversity while maintaining a single-story expression at front and rear.
Beyond providing shelter, the prototype was designed to support a full complement of services, including health, job placement, education, and business incubation, to help its residents re-enter society. Each home’s shared spaces accommodate and encourage these uses to facilitate positive outcomes.
The initial eight-unit prototype is under construction on a corner site adjacent to The First 72+’s existing office building, with plans for additional residential units to be built across nine neighborhoods within New Orleans. This deconcentrated development model encourages the reintegration of The First 72+’s clients into the city through design. By emulating the vernacular two-family shotgun envelope, OJT hopes to ease the replication of this model within diverse communities.
Project: New Home for The First 72+
Location: New Orleans
Client: The First 72+ · Kelly Orians
Design Architect: OJT, New Orleans
Lighting Designer: OJT
Electrical/Plumbing Engineer: OJT
Civil Engineer: Walter Zehner
General Contractor: Edifice Builders
Size: 3,200 square feet