Developer: Jeff Svitak Inc.
The role of the courtyard is described as a space that “leads man unconsciously to fall in an atmosphere of spontaneous meditation without any effort and with reduced nervous tension…Such a space helps so much in the development of personality and in avoiding standardization of the mind.”
The Louisiana is
a building that is designed with this concept as the seed for its spatial organization. The massing of the building revolves around a series of outdoor rooms, or courtyards, which serve as a dissolvent for the structure as it projects upwards, leaving functional voids at every story that become as important to the dwellings as any of their interior rooms.
The courtyards and outdoor rooms are private and intimate, and seamlessly connect to the interior spaces of the dwellings. They are meant to harness repose and quietness, and to act as an escape from the pressures of the outside environment, work, or the daily routine. Such a quality is a much-needed life component that is often forgotten in the common apartment buildings of our urban environment.
Each of the 15 dwelling units are unique and react spatially to their specific location on the site and within the building.
The 2nd level create introspection by focusing the units inwards and connecting them to 16’ x 16’ outdoor rooms, which are open to the sky and enclosed by 5’ high solid walls.
The upper level units clear the heights of the surrounding buildings, so they project outward towards the views, while still maintaining the overall concept of giving each unit a large outdoor room.
The dwelling units all work around a large central community courtyard, which is utilized as the main circulatory component. Instead of the common elevator and corridor, the circulation was approached as an informal and engaging social space for casual encounters.
By breaking up the massing of the building into smaller components and integrating the open spaces throughout, the exterior walls of the building dramatically increased, which in turn allowed for nearly every room in the building to have plenty of natural daylight and cross ventilation. The central courtyard and mini-courtyards combined with the cross-ventilation create a self-sufficient micro-climate, in which cool air is stored in the courtyards and flows into the surrounding rooms as the warm air passes over the building during the day.