The Commons, Tulane University
The recently completed 77,000 sf, three story building primarily serves as the University’s main dining hall while also housing the Newcomb College Institute, which is inexorably linked with the history of the University. Situated at the edge of the main green space at the center of campus the new building provides a community gathering space centered around state-of-the-art dining facilities.
Water is a significant feature of the New Orleans landscape. Storage, control and conveyance of stormwater is critical during storm events. The landscape surrounding the new building is primarily performative and captures all the stormwater from the immediate area including the building roof. This is in part to satisfy City regulations, but it also showcases the university commitment to sustainability goals related to stormwater management. The 9,000 sf raingarden and vegetated swale wraps the north and west facades and can detain and treat roughly twice the amount of stormwater required by code. While the raingarden certainly satisfies a technical function it also provides a unique setting for the building and contributes to the indoor-outdoor relationship as the main building spaces look over and are immersed within the garden.
New Orleans, LA