Craig Kellogg | December 24, 2013
Firm: Trahan Architects
Project: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum
Location: Natchitoches, LA
Photography: Timothy Hursley.
Do historical collections demand traditional architecture? Should facades be backward-looking billboards to advertise the exhibitions housed inside? Trey Trahan’s answer for this hybrid building was: “No way!” But then he had to persuade the author-ities in the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase. Questions persisted, since the museum would house both sports and regional-history collections—were dual architectural identities required? Again, Trahan’s answer was: “No.” Sports memories, he argued, are just one more component of regional culture.
Instead, in the atrium lobby, sunlight from above washes white cast-stone panels in soft curves that evoke the flow of water on the city’s Cane River Lake, a spring-training mecca for crew teams. When visitors ascend to the top level of the 28,000-square-foot building, they can overlook the city from behind a veranda’s copper louvers. The facade also sports pleated copper panels. As contemporary as that might seem at first glance, Trahan notes that the louvers and panels allude to the shutters and clapboards of Louisiana plantations.
Brad McWhirter; Ed Gaskin; Mark Hash; Michael McCune; Sean David; Blake Fisher; Erik Herrmann; David Merlin; Benjamin Rath; Judson Terry.