600 st. roch avenue, NEW ORLEANS

The 2,000 square foot concrete block industrial building at 600 St. Roch Avenue, New Orleans was constructed as a sheet metal fabrication factory in 1953. The building was transformed into a studio/residence through the removal of a portion of the original roof to create a light filled interior courtyard and the addition of a second floor in 2008 and expanded in 2018 to create additional floor area and added a covered porch. The second-floor addition is composed of three interlocking volumes designed to create an interplay of spaces that appear to be arranged independent of the building below. Vibrant colors are used to emphasize the interplay of the joined masses. A rolling shutter detail was developed for this project that provides the same storm protection, light control and security as traditional shutters. The design, approved by the Historic District Landmarks Commission uses an approach to adapting the use of the building that respects the historic context by observing scale, material and proportion of the surrounding neighborhood. The 1995 mural titled “The Gift” on the St. Roch Avenue side of the building was repainted in 2009 (video link) by the original artist Jonathan Blum.