Architecture’s Major Renovation

The home of Tulane School of Architecture is preparing for a major renovation.

Architectural rendering of Richardson Memorial Hall's renovation plan
A rendering of renovation plans for Richardson Memorial Hall, home of the School of Architecture, shows the north façade of the building with additional space for reviews and exhibitions. [Image provided by TrapolinPEER]

Richardson Memorial Hall, the 113-year-old building that houses the Tulane University School of Architecture, is gearing up for a renovation that promises to bring the school to the next level of architecture and design education. Groundbreaking on the construction project is scheduled for early spring 2022, with the building open again in fall 2023.

Plans call for the renovation to restore the historic Richardson Memorial Hall’s façades, structure, stairs and interior spaces while making additions to the back of the building. The goals of the renovation are to enhance the existing studio, classroom and office spaces; to bring the building up to code; and to provide essential teaching spaces. The additional space will add more stairs and elevators, increase the number of restrooms, provide more space for reviews and exhibitions, and coherently relocate faculty and staff offices. The renovation will also centralize the school’s Fabrication Labs, integrating analog fabrication (wood, metal and concrete) and digital fabrication (2D and 3D printing, laser cutters and robotics).

“I’m thrilled to announce this much-needed renovation,” said School of Architecture Dean Iñaki Alday. “We are especially grateful for the support of Tulane University and to our donors, who recognized the need for the renovation, which will enhance the top-notch education our students are already receiving.”

Built in 1908, Richardson Memorial Hall is located on the Gibson Quad between Dinwiddie Hall and Richardson Building, just off St. Charles Avenue. Originally constructed for the Tulane School of Medicine, the limestone building has housed the School of Architecture since 1968. Trapolin-Peer Architects of New Orleans is overseeing the renovation, which includes conservation work necessary to preserve the original Romanesque brick and limestone façade designed by architects Andry and Bendernagel.

Plans call for the renovation to be LEED-certified at the silver level. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.