Lavin Bernick Center

This expansion and redesign were a collaboration with Vincent James Associates Architects at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The project centers around the expansion of the University Center building and its relationship to the adjacent pocket park and overall campus connection.


Often, vegetation and its maintenance in a semi-tropical climate can be frenzied and chaotic.  In order to balance these challenges and provide a relaxing experience for students, the design explores methods to convey the lushness of New Orleans purely through form and texture rather than with color and variety.  As such, the material and plant palette are deliberately simple: vertical planes of climbing vines extend from the building into the surrounding landscape.  These insertions into the pocket park create understated divisions between passive and active spaces. Linear benches along thoroughfares and within the pocket park recall the horizontality of the building. The result is a thoughtful series of spaces with soft and simple framing, providing a graceful extension of the University Center into the larger Tulane campus.


LOCATION: Tulane University-New Orleans, Louisiana

COLLABORATORS: Vincent James Associate Architects, Studio WTA

SIZE: 132,400 SF / 3 acres

RECOGNITION: 2008 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Award (Vincent James Associates Architects), 2010 ASLA Honor Award, Minnesota Chapter