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‘Bead Three’ installation catches throws, Carnival spirit

All Tulanians knew the Bead Tree well: The tradition of throwing Carnival beads into the branches each year created a living sculpture that brought cheer to all who looked upon it. Sadly, the beloved Bead Tree was removed from Tulane’s uptown campus in May 2019 due to extensive termite and lightning damage that left it vulnerable to falling. Since that time, plans have been in the works to honor the tradition of the Bead Tree. 

Just in time for Mardi Gras, the tradition has been renewed with the “planting” of the Bead Three. The first of three 21-foot-tall steel and acrylic “trees” was installed near the spot where the Bead Tree once stood. The Bead Three was designed by Tulane School of Architecture professor Irene Keil and her husband, local artist David Gregor, as a way to memorialize the Bead Tree.

“This is an alternative. It doesn’t look like an actual tree, but it’s a symbol that functions to catch beads and doesn’t cause any damage. It will be a new tradition,” said Keil.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, President Mike Fitts initiated that new tradition when he joined student leaders and staff for a ceremonial first beading.

“This is an incredible symbol for the university, symbolizing the joy of New Orleans and the joy of Tulane,” said President Fitts.

The trees are fabricated from 6-inch-diameter weathered black iron pipe, with steel branches attached to the trunks, which will allow for the catchment of beads. A series of clear plexiglass rods runs through the pipe trunk and emanates light in the evening hours. Keil and Gregor were assisted in the construction by Tulane's Facilities Services and are particularly grateful to Demian Weidenhaft for welding the structure.

Two more trees will be installed in the coming weeks to complete the tree sculpture. The Bead Three will form a shape that mimics the outline of the original Bead Tree canopy. As visitors and the Tulane community add their contributions, Bead Three will be dynamic and ever changing, truly capturing the spirit of Tulane. 

This story was originally published by Tulane News.

Faculty work selected for exhibition and publication by Association of German Architects Berlin

The BDA Berlin (Association of German Architects Berlin) has selected the urban design scenario “Reißverschluß” for Berlin-Hohenschönhausen by Irene Keil, a Senior Professor of Practice in Architecture at Tulane School of Architecture, and Jörg Pampe, ARGE Keil Pampe, to be included in an exhibition and the subsequent publication “BERLIN-ATLAS - Architektur als Kritik an dem, was da ist” (Berlin Atlas, architecture as a tool of criticism on the status quo). The exhibition was at the BDA gallery in Berlin from September 24 - October 24, 2019.

From the curators Andrew Alberts and Urs Füssler: "When architecture works within the context, it critiques the existing. It transforms, changes, integrates, re-conceptualizes, adds, amputates, juxtaposes, defamiliarizes, mis-interprets, elevates, exaggerates or refines, densifies and liberates. It offers an affirmative critique - by showing possibilities."

From the architects Irene Keil and Jörg Pampe: "The scenario “Reißverschluß” (zipper) is part of a series of proposals/scenarios for Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, a bedroom community of communist era housing slabs to the east of the city, established around the crossing station of several major infrastructure lines: commuter rail, regional rail, tram, and bus. In this underused zone lies the highest potential for connectivity and for the development of jobs, services, commerce and additional housing. The various scenarios explore and test the compatibility of new architectural figures with the existing buildings. The scenario “zipper” is based on the concept of interlocking - the spatial organization of the existing housing quarters and the new figure complement and complete each other; individual slab or object buildings become part of space defining edges or spatial terminations. New spaces are inserted into the vastness of the voids created by the configuration of 11-story housing slabs."

The curators were looking for representations of un-built projects for specific places in or around Berlin. The Berlin Atlas is an on-going project aiming to produce an alternative Stadtkarte (urban map) conceived by a multitude of authors and their ideas for the city. Preceding the atlas, a brochure with the selected proposals is being published yearly.

Alumni, faculty, school friends win big at AIA New Orleans Awards 2019

The New Orleans chapter of the American Institute of Architects named dozens of Tulane School of Architecture alumni among the team awardees during the annual Design Awards program on March 21, 2019, celebrating the best architecture from local architects. The evening included a panel discussion led by Casius Pealer, Director of the Sustainable Real Estate Development Program at Tulane School of Architecture. Each year the Design Awards program accomplishes three goals: celebrate the best of this region’s architecture, recognize achievement in a broad range of architectural work, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice. Below is a listing of the awarded buildings, homes, and projects, including the alumni

Dear Rampart

Robert Riccardi (A '91 & Board Member ). Lexi Tengco (A '11.)

Aurora Event Center

Charles Weimer (A '15).

Resilient Bridgeport

F. Macnaughton Ball, Jr., FAIA ( Former Parent& Former Board Member). Ramiro Diaz (A '00)

2513 Metairie Road

Terri Dreyer (A '01). Ian Dreyer (A '01). Kristine Kobila (A '01).

Teatro Santander

Jose Alvarez, AIA, LEED AP (A '97). David Demsey, AIA (A '07). Noah Marble, AIA, LEED AP (A '05).

Chapelle Street House

Nicholas Marshall, AIA (A '92). Irene Keil (Current Faculty). Robert Bouchon (E '83).

Camp Place Residence

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Tracie Ashe (A '02). Ross Karsen (A '06). Daniel Kautz (A '09). Natan Diacon-Furtado (A '14).

1824 Sophie Wright Place

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Tracie Ashe (A '02). Natan Diacon-Furtado (A '14).

St. Stephen Catholic Church

Peter Trapolin, FAIA (A '77).

Crescent Care Community Health Center

Robert Riccardi (A '91 & Board Member) Curtis Laub (A '06). Jenny Renn Key (A '15). Brian Webber (A '15). Elaine Damico (A '18).

Tulane University - Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex

Dominic Willard, Principal (A '03). Michelle Carrol-Barr (A '14).

Oscar J. Tolmas Center New Orleans City Park

Mac Ball (Former Parent & Former Board Member). Steve Scollo (A '97). Charles Sterkx (A '88).

St. Mary’s Dominican High School Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Complex

Kenyon Zimmerman (A '02). Timothy Dunford (Current Parent)

Palmisano Headquarters

Jose Alvarez (A '97). Ian O’Cain (A '13).

Mussafer Hall

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Julie Babin (A '06). Toni DiMaggio (A '03). Ray Croft (A '14). Trent Gauthier (A '14).

Photos by Michael Mantese Photography

Small Center project wins AIA Louisiana Honor Award

Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion, a project by the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, was recently recognized with an Honor Award in the small project category of the American Institute of Architects Louisiana 2018 design competition.

A nationally recognized panel of judges selected 16 winning projects from 73 entries submitted by architects statewide. The jury noted the Shade-Water Pavilion’s “great relationship between the scale of the human and the scale of the structure” and “incredible concrete bays.”

The pavilion provides an outdoor community gathering area in an unused infrastructural space with a mechanism to collect, display and distribute rain water. Tulane School of Architecture faculty members Judith Kinnard, FAIA and Irene Keil served as design leads with Small Center staff member Nick Jenisch as project manager on the collaborative effort with students, faculty, staff and community partners Carrollton/Hollygrove Community Development Corporation and the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board.

The Small Center is the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture. Learn more about the center’s work with nonprofit organizations and community groups to provide design services to underserved communities at http://small.tulane.edu.

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