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All classes are suspended for the week of March 16. Starting the week of March 23, all classes will resume entirely online. Tulane School of Architecture (TuSA) remains open with most faculty and staff working remotely. Students can be granted access to work in the building only with prior approval from the school. At this time, we are not hosting admissions tours.

Please continue to check your Tulane email, Canvas, the TuSA COVID-19 FAQ, and the Tulane Emergency Management page for updates.

Tulane is working with students who have difficult personal circumstances that would make leaving campus a challenge or will face complications in online learning once they return home. In response, we have set up the Tulane Student Emergency Aid and Assistance Fund to address current student needs.

TSA faculty Byron Mouton and Lauren Hickman featured in New Wave Article

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Art comes alive at new YAYA Center

New Wave staff

Known for its celebration of the arts, New Orleans has a new creative asset — a 6,000-square-foot home for the Young Aspirations/Young Artists program (YAYA) designed by the architecture firm of Tulane University professor Byron Mouton.
The new YAYA Arts Center opened in June at 3322 LaSalle St. in Central City to serve as headquarters for the 27-year old organization, which teaches young people creative and life skills for a career in the arts. Offering free after-school programs in painting, sculpture and glassblowing, YAYA also has a gallery where the budding artists sell their work.
Those elements come together in a building conceived by Mouton and Lauren Hickman of bildDesign. Both also teach at the Tulane School of Architecture.
Mouton’s involvement in community projects led to his work with YAYA. He is director of the URBANbuild program at Tulane — his architecture students have designed and built nine homes, several in Central City, and a community market over the past decade.

“Now YAYA has a facility located in a community that can benefit from the exposure to these creative methods. It’s pretty amazing, actually,” Mouton said.
The new facility has a gallery and a large studio in the front, custom-designed space. A modular metal building in back is “a raw industrial studio” ready for a second-level mezzanine later. The project was fast-tracked for quick completion and with an eye to minimizing costs.
With the dust still clearing from the move, YAYA anticipates a full complement of programs this fall. Workshops will feature local community members, in keeping with YAYA’s mission as a hub for the arts.
“We want them to feel like YAYA is an extension of what’s already going on in the community,” said Timeka Junius, YAYA’s executive director of programs. “We want them to feel like this is a home.”
In other words, that dust on the floor may be permanent, which is exactly how YAYA likes it.
Freelance writer Benjamin Morris contributed to this article.

URBANbuild 10 Update

urban Build 10

Hello TSA community,

It’s now a mad dash to the finish line, but we’ll be complete in three weeks. Please enjoy the linked progress shots and plan to stop by 2128 Harmony after the 30th - to view the URBANbuild10 team’s accomplishments. 

Byron Mouton, AIA



URBANbuild 10 Update

Hello TSA community,
We are currently six weeks into progress with URBANbuild 10 and the students are doing great! Please congratulate them and stop by for a visit at 2128 Harmony Street.

Byron Mouton, AIA


New Wave features URBANbuild 10

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Going up: URBANbuild No. 10

Carol J. Schlueter


On a cold, overcast day in mid-January, boot-wearing Tulane University architecture students were slogging through mud, building forms and preparing for a concrete pour. Welcome toURBANbuild 10, which in a few months will be a finished home in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans.

The site at 2128 Harmony St. is crawling with students each week as they build the house that they designed in the fall, working in a studio in the Tulane School of Architecture.

It’s a process that Byron Mouton, senior professor of practice and director of URBANbuild, has supervised for the past decade, leading up to 25 students each year in the start-to-finish process of designing and building a home that meets professional standards.

“Students appreciate this side of our discipline,” Mouton said. “They appreciate being given access to the means and methods required to get buildings realized. They work directly with all subcontractors and material providers, and in the process, they learn it takes many people to make a house.”

When the work is done at semester’s end, there will be an energy-efficient, three bedroom and two bath home with a front porch and a master suite that opens to a private garden.

“URBANbuild is an academic program, but it’s also an education in professional methods of collaboration,” Mouton said.

He attributes the program’s success to his URBANbuild team, which includes Sam Richards, shop director and co-coordinator of construction, and Anthony Christiana, a local contractor of record who frequently works with Mouton on various professional projects.

Most importantly, it works because of URBANbuild’s frequent partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services, which provides the lots and finds a deserving owner for the new home.

As for the students who built it, they will have experience and confidence that they didn’t have before, Mouton said. “We’re producing enlightened designers and optimistic young practitioners.”

To learn more about URBANbuild, view the video below produced by Architect,
the magazine of the American Institute of Architects.




The year that some colleagues in the Tulane School of Architecture started the URBANbuild program was the same year that New Orleans was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The program quickly adapted to not only function as a way for students to gain experience in a design/build environment, but to serve as a social program providing greater options to the communities of New Orleans that are often overlooked.

"Custom Home" features Build 3 from Tulane's URBANbuild program

Future-Proofing the American Dream

Housing of the future must provide affordable, sustainable, and adaptable shelter to the masses

Owning a home has long been a big part of the American Dream. Obtaining that dream means having a place of sanctuary and security as well as shelter. What that house looks like and how it functions is changing to accommodate different family make-ups, population and culture shifts toward denser more integrated communities, and increasingly extreme weather patterns. Tomorrow’s best housing solution isn’t all about high-tech systems, complex building techniques, or Jetson-esque designs, however. According to experts, educators, and experimenters in the residential design and construction industry many solutions for building houses for the future involve revisiting what worked before. Combining historic research with new innovations is what will produce the best housing. Byron J. Mouton, Tulane architecture professor and founder of BILD Design sums it up: “The future is going to depend greatly on an understanding of the past.”... Full Article Here

URBANbuild 8 and community partner, Harmony Neighborhood Development feature on a WWNO news

Weekly LaSalle Market Bringing Business Back To Central City


New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood was once a stronghold of rich cultural traditions and bustling local businesses. While the arts remain vibrant within this tight community, the area has suffered economically over the past decades.

Now, a new local initiative aims to restore economic vitality along one commercial corridor in the neighborhood.

On the corner of LaSalle and Toledano Streets, a half-dozen bright yellow pod-like structures sit on a grassy lot. At first glance, they look more like tollbooths, greenhouses, or maybe some kind of shipping container. But drive by on a Friday or Saturday afternoon and their purpose is clear.

The Market on LaSalle is a project ofHarmony Neighborhood Development — a community development organization in Central City — and the yellow pods are retail outlets for local vendors, such as the Lion King Den Café.

In efforts to boost small-scale commercial activity in the neighborhood, Harmony bought the property on the corner of Lasalle and Toledano Streets in 2010. They demolished the derelict building on the lot with plans to build a local shopping center, in partnership with students from Tulane University’s Urban Build project. But their plans changed.

“The students designed a commercial building,” says Harmony Neighborhood Development Executive Directory Una Anderson. “It was too much for us to build, frankly — it was a $1.2 million building and it was beyond our capacity to build. So then they then took a step back and designed the pods.”

The idea of pop-up retail is nothing new. Nationwide, businesses test out their products in temporary storefront space to see if there’s enough demand to support it. Sometimes businesses set up shop seasonally, and move on once the holiday rush is through.

What makes the Market on LaSalle unique is its focus on cultivating local businesses. 

“With the market we actually go out and solicit vendors: folks that have been doing this forever — in their homes, out of their cars, on foot —  but what we wanna do is we wanna pick out the vendors who are interested in starting a small business,” says Dannielle Smalls, Manager of the Market on LaSalle. “So what the market offers is just a space, so that the vendors have the opportunity to utilize a storefront.”

Kissy Smith from the Lion’s King Den Café is grateful for this opportunity. She says before the Market on LaSalle her businesses never had this type of exposure.

“I actually was a limo driver,” Smith says. “But food is our passion. We were catering a lot of supper plates out and we were doing it out the house. And we had been trying to get to the one on Freret Street for a long time, but the list is very long.”

Smalls, the market’s manager, grew up in Central City. She says situations like Smith’s are pretty typical in the area.

“What I’ve found is that we’ve never had anything to give a small business the boost that it needs,” Smalls says. “The residents of Central City that sell or cook, or if they have handmade goods, they just don’t get the opportunity to vend unless it’s at an event. And most of the time, the events are just too expensive, so a lot of these businesses are just pent up inside their homes.”

Harmony still plans to build a permanent commercial structure on the site. But the pods — and the businesses within them — won’t go forgotten.

“I see this really being the start for a lot of businesses,” says Smalls. “Eventually we’re going to build out a permanent space so those vendors that are ready to go into that storefront —  they have made it, they’ve have done the work that it takes to stay in businesses — then I see them going into one of those spaces.”

Anderson says that building out the space after identifying local vendors, while it may seem backwards, is what will ensure that the businesses on LaSalle stay community-based.

“As opposed to jumping into a more traditional development where you build the building and then bring in the tenants, the idea here is to grow the tenants while you grow the building,” Anderson says.

And what will happen to the pods once a permanent retail space is built?

“The pods are on wheels, so the general idea is for the pods to leave this space and activate another area to give more businesses the opportunity to grow,” says Smalls.

The Market on LaSalle, at the corner of LaSalle and Toledano, is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Byron Mouton to Speak at 2013 Reinvention Symposium

Symposium Summary:

Architects are steeped in the critical strategies of sustainable design, but the bigger challenge ahead is to devise buildings for lasting resilience and endurance. We must prepare for near-term and long-term changes in the environment, demographics, economics, technology, and much more. Ultimately, we must reinvent how we design, engineer, and construct our housing from the ground up.

For the 10th annual Reinvention, we’ll examine how architects can lead the way as change agents in a changed world.

2013 Reinvention Symposium - Speakers 

Byron Mouton, featured in Architektury

Architektury, A Polish architecture Magazine, has recently highlighted faculty member, Byron Mouton, and URBANbuild students in an article documenting their involvement with the 'Make It Right Foundation's' efforts to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. 

Retail 'pods' spark business development

(Photograph from Harmony Neighborhood Development)

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Sometimes it’s helpful to think small. Students in the Tulane School of Architecture’s UrbanBuild program did just that when they designed and built a number of movable, 14-foot structures for a community market space in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans.

The project is something of a departure for UrbanBuild. “We typically build a house in an underprivileged community,” says program director Byron Mouton.

The challenge for this project, says Mouton, was how to create a small-scale retail environment to spark commercial development in the LaSalle Street Corridor for the Harmony Neighborhood Development.

“The goal for the market is to create a low-cost, high-traffic retail location for Central City–owned businesses,” says Una Anderson, executive director of the Harmony Neighborhood Development.

The market had its grand opening in July and is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Saturday. "It's been exciting to see the Market on LaSalle pop up and grow into an event each weekend,” says Anderson. “This market has brought a lot of energy to the corner of Toledano and LaSalle and it's provided an infrastructure for the Central City community to expand their businesses."

The movable units put “the bottom rungs on the business-developer ladder,” says Anderson.

Each of the pods is built upon a farm trailer, says Mouton, which can allow a retail site to be configured for different events. “The goal is to have these little carts stay on site a while, but one day they may be disbursed along the LaSalle Corridor, to be seeds for future development,” he says.

Anderson says  she hopes the weekend market will lead to a full revival of the commercial corridor.
"We have loved working with Byron and the UrbanBuild classes," says Anderson. "The students' commitment to thoughtful design and construction have created a unique solution to a formerly blighted lot. This partnership has allowed us to create a model of revitalization we hope can be replicated by others in the future."