Concept: A slab tower places all 160 units next to the levee, moving the bulk away from low-rise Bywater, and offering every unit a river view—a rarity in New Orleans.
Each unit can be unique because prefabrication would lower the costs of customization. Fabricated off-site, the units fit within the 12-story framework. The variety accounts for the “sawtooth” nature of the north elevation, which faces the neighborhood. Some units are left out to bring breezes and views of the sky through the long slab structure. According to Eight, Inc., the scheme’s diversity and additive quality reflects the variety found in the nearby streets, while the tough simplicity of its expression “draws inspiration from its riverfront site, with its tough physical elements: flood walls, train tracks, and remnants of the old wharf structures.”
The sawtooth scheme recurs at street level, where low, projecting structures, containing retail and institutional areas, alternate with ball courts and small public plazas. The plazas access a riverfront terrace. The low-rise “makes a fine-grained relationship between neighborhood and site,” said Steve Dumez. “Allowing the public spaces to filter into the site is a significant virtue.” Though the units “string out long rooms,” taking “the shotgun idea too far,” said Eric Naslund, he admired the way “every unit has a city side and river side.” J.S.R.
“Public spaces filter into the site.” —Dumez