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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.


by John P. Klingman

photographed by Michael Mantese

Two nineteenth-century Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods with complex histories provide the locus for the NOAF 2019 Contemporary Home Tour. The venerable Lower Garden District was a fashionable place to settle in the early nineteenth century, boasting a unique layout that included Coliseum Square as a focal point. Meanwhile, across Magazine Street the Irish Channel developed as a working class neighborhood closely connected with the port activity along the Mississippi River. Following a period of decline in the late twentieth century, today both neighborhoods are thriving; the recent renovation of the Coliseum Square fountain is a noteworthy indication of neighborhood pride, and renovations and new houses are occurring on almost every block in the Irish Channel.

Among the new houses being built in these neighborhoods, the majority are reflective of nineteenth century New Orleans building types, particularly the townhouse and the camelback. There are also a number of contemporary designs; and these are the focus of our attention. One may be surprised to see contemporary design in neighborhoods that are under the jurisdiction of the city’s Historic District Landmarks Commission; however, this is consistent with the HDLC guidelines, that allow for a complementary relationship between old and new.

The most appropriate architecture reflects its time, its place and the cultural values of its builders. With respect to place, it is the elements of New Orleans architecture that are more fundamental than stylistic features. Beginning with the interaction between the building and the street; typically porches, balconies or galleries allow for neighborly connections. Second is the provision of shading in our semitropical climate, with vegetation and building components like deep overhangs, shutters and louvers. Third is establishing the scale of the building that is commensurate with that of the surroundings. Finally, there is the relationship between the building and its garden or courtyard, perhaps hinted at from the street. It is the careful attention to these elements that connects a contemporary design approach to New Orleans history.

A less commonly recognized advantage of contemporary design in the historic city concerns legibility. One can argue that the true value of a historic building is more easily recognized when set in contrast to a contemporary neighbor. Instead, we often attempt to show appreciation for the past with a twenty-first century recreation of a nineteenth century style. There is some uneasiness that arises from this approach however. The fine residential structures of the nineteenth century accommodated a lifestyle that is no longer the norm. For example, in earlier times kitchens were service spaces, sometimes not even located within the principal structure; today they often form a hub for family life and entertainment. Newer technologies like the automobile, air conditioning and rooftop solar power have changed the way people think about buildings. The labor-intensive handcraft available in the nineteenth century is less prevalent, and building materials have changed appreciably; New Orleans is a city built with wood, but cementitious siding has replaced old growth cypress. Synthetic stucco, a thin veneer, competes with true stucco, and slate roofs are prohibitively expensive. Often metal roofs are preferable to asphalt shingles.

New Orleans is something of an outlier with respect to embracing contemporary residential design. Of course, one thinks about Los Angeles or Miami as primary examples of the dominance of the Modern, but contemporary residential designs exist in historic cities like New York City and Philadelphia. Cities abroad also provide exciting examples: Montreal, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Dublin come immediately to mind. In Kyoto, the capital of Japan for a thousand years, contemporary houses sit alongside of ancient buildings.

The projects that are featured on the Home Tour provide a variety of approaches to contemporary design. However, they all expand the tradition of New Orleans residential architecture.

Click here to read the full story, including descriptions of each home, many of which were designed and developed by Tulane School of Architecture alumni.

Best of Architecture New Orleans 2019 features alumni, board member, former faculty

Several alumni and friends of the Tulane School of Architecture are prominently featured in the 2019 listing "Best of Architecture" by New Orleans Magazine.

As John Klingman, the author of the piece and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Tulane, writes: "This year’s outstanding projects are quite diverse; they are all different in terms of use, building type and neighborhood. Perhaps this is indicative of the strength and vision at work in New Orleans architecture today. What all of the featured projects have in common is the evidence of great design energy combined with demonstrated professional competence in the service of the people and institutions of our city."

The affiliated architects and designers include:

  • Trapolin-Peer Architects: Peter Trapolin (A'77); Ashley King (A'98); Shea Trahan (A'13)
  • Lee Ledbetter & Associates: Lee Ledbetter (former adjunct faculty)
  • Manning Architects: Dominic Willard (A'03); Michelle Carroll-Barr (A'14)
  • studioWTA: Wayne Troyer (A'83); Natan Diacon-Furtado (A'14); Daniel Kautz (A'09); Ross Karsen (A'06)
  • Gould Evans Architects: Robert Riccardi (A'91 and Board of Advisors); Curtis Laub (A'06); Jenny Renn Key (A'15); Brian Webber (A'15); Elaine Damico (A'18)

To read the full story a see pictures of the projects, click here.

“Talk About Architecture” symposium videos available online

In April, Tulane School of Architecture alumni, students, faculty and friends gathered in Richardson Memorial Hall for “Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect,” a symposium organized by Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman.

Videos of the day’s sessions, including alumni forums, keynote by Professor Klingman and talks from special guests, are now available online. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

"Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect" draws alumni for day of conversation

Professor John Klingman speaks at "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect"

Photo: Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman presents during "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect. Photo by Philip A. Alperson.

Preparing future architects to design spaces that are compelling and community centered was a focus of conversation at "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect," a symposium held at the Tulane School of Architecture on April 7.

Hosted by Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman, the event brought together more than 150 alumni, faculty, students and friends to discuss the evolution and future of architectural education at Tulane and beyond.

Alumni, traveling from as far as Shanghai, shared ways their education succeeded and was less relevant in the real world during two open forums. Klingman structured the event to be alumni-focused, drawing generations of graduates back to their alma mater.

During the keynote speech, Klingman stressed that for the sometimes-insular architecture profession to remain viable, architects must find ways to engage with the public.

“It is just as important for us to be outside the building as it is for us to be inside the building,” said Klingman. “Even though a project can be architecturally significant, if it doesn’t have a living program and people are not actively using it, it’s just not good.”

“The practice of architecture fundamentally changes every few years,” said Dan Maginn, a 1989 architecture graduate from Kansas City, Missouri, who spoke during a forum. “Regular dialogue between practitioners, faculty and students encourages an awareness of this ever changing dynamic, and energizes the experience of practicing, teaching and learning about architecture.”

Special guests including former Tulane School of Architecture faculty members Ben Ledbetter and Mark Shapiro, former dean Donna Robertson, FAIA and Deborah Gans, FAIA, a Pratt Institute professor and a longtime friend of the school, stimulated the discussion with insight from successful careers in education and practice.

"Talk About Architecture" marked Professor Klingman’s retirement at the end of this academic year. Many alumni attended to celebrate and share stories of his impact over 35 years of teaching and mentorship.

Members of the graduating classes of 1986 and 1987 used the event as a reunion opportunity to reconnect while honoring Klingman. “As a thesis advisor, John Klingman influenced the individual thinking of hundreds of students and also created an open, engaged conversation that continues to tie us together years after our time at Tulane,” said Elizabeth Martin (A ’86).

View photos from the symposium here.

Professor John Klingman’s annual “Best New Architecture” list

House by Studio WTA

Photo: Jeffery Johnston

Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman’s annual round up of New Orleans’ best new architecture projects was featured in the March issue of New Orleans Magazine.

Read the article here.

Congratulations to the Tulane School of Architecture alumni who contributed to the highlighted projects:

  • Jose Alvarez (A ‘97)
  • Robert Baddour (A ‘10)
  • Robert Boyd (A ‘91)
  • Ray Croft (A ‘14)
  • David Demsey (A ‘07)
  • Cynthia Dubberley (A ‘97)
  • Trenton Gauthier (A ‘14)
  • Lauren Hickman (A ‘06)
  • Patrick Horigan (A ‘05)
  • Ross Karsen (A ‘06)
  • Alissa Kingsley (A ‘11)
  • Emile Lejeune (A ‘13)
  • Noah Marble (A '05)
  • Daniel McDonald (A ‘13)
  • Byron Mouton (A ‘89)
  • Jessica O’Dell (A *14)
  • Steve Ritten (A ‘07)
  • Alex Sirko (A ‘94)
  • Wayne Troyer (A ‘83)
  • Seth Welty (A ‘08)

Klingman Option Studio Fall 2017 studies urban water Issues in relation to new design for New Orleans Congo Square/Armstrong Park

This semester’s studio extends the series considering water infrastructure and architecture; and its locus is a site of primary historic importance, centered on Congo Square/Louis Armstrong Park. The square, one of the most important in the city, was subsumed within Armstrong Park in the late nineteen sixties. Eight blocks of Treme’s historic building fabric were demolished, diminishing the character and the population of the neighborhood. The Park is widely acknowledged to be an urban failure, and the studio has undertaken its complete redesign. The goal is to design viable public space with particular attention to water as an element. Congo Square will again be identifiable as a figural space, as it was for most of its history. Buildings incorporating urban housing and mixed uses compatible with a twenty-first century sustainable vision of New Orleans are proposed for on this important site directly adjacent to the Vieux Carre.

Tulane School of Architecture professors recognized as honorary alumni

Photo: Professors Scott Bernhard (second from left) and John Klingman (far right) display their Honorary Alumnus proclamations during a ceremony held by Tulane Alumni Association on Oct. 12.

Tulane Alumni Association recognized Tulane School of Architecture professors John Klingman and Scott Bernhard, AIA as Honorary Tulane Alumni for their significant contributions to the university during a ceremony on Oct. 12. The professors received resolutions from the association confirming the title and expressing appreciation for their dedication.

“Professors Klingman and Bernhard are outstanding educators and wonderful examplars of academic excellence through their teaching, engaged research, community engagement and creative work,” said Dean Kenneth Schwartz. “Their contributions to the Tulane School of Architecture, Tulane University and the community are countless, resulting in this well-deserved recognition.”

Klingman joined the School of Architecture in 1984 and currently holds the Favrot Professorship in Architecture. He has received multiple awards over 34 years at Tulane including the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and Tulane School of Architecture Outstanding Teaching Award. Outside of the classroom, he dedicated his expertise to water engagement issues in New Orleans related to architectural design and worked with international and local leaders to improve infrastructure issues. He has also been an important and long-standing voice on the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) Architectural Committee, and sought after speaker for his many areas of expertise including mid-century modernism in New Orleans.

Bernhard holds the Jean and Sean Paul A. Mintz Associate Professorship. He has served in numerous leadership and faculty roles over 27 years at the school including associate dean, interim dean and Tulane City Center director (now Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design). Bernhard serves a crucial role exposing Tulane students to the discipline and profession of architecture during his highly popular Introduction to Architecture course. His recognitions include the President's Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching, the Inspirational Teacher Award, the Excellence in Teaching Award and numerous design awards.

Explore New Orleans mid-century modern architecture at upcoming events

By Susan Langenhennig,

The Preservation Resource Center, the New Orleans Architecture Foundation and Docomomo US/Louisiana are teaming up to host events exploring the sharp angles, flat roofs, soaring glass walls and other hallmarks of mid-century modern architecture in New Orleans. The series kicks off May 25 with a reception at the home of architect Albert Ledner, who pioneered regional modernist design in New Orleans. Tickets are $35 at

Then, on June 8, Tulane University architecture professor John P. Klingman will present an overview of the Crescent City's own mid-century modern style. The talk will be held from 6-7 p.m., Mid City Library, 4140 Canal St.

On July 6, architects Lee Ledbetter, Paula Peer, Albert Ledner and archivist Francine J. Stock will participate in a panel discussion led by architect Wayne Troyer. The group will discuss mid-mod design, history and building use. The event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the New Orleans Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave.


This year’s projects reflect a particularly broad group of building types, including several with unique programs. While an interesting set of uses doesn’t necessarily equate with good design, it’s exciting to see a conjunction of both.


Faculty, Alumni and Board of Advisors mentioned in article:

Robert C. Baddour  TSA '10
Jerry J. Blanchard   TSA ‘06  
Thomas M. Brown  TSA '80
David C. W. Curtis  TSA '82
David R. Demsey  TSA '07
Alyce C. Deshotels  TSA '14
Rebecca X. Fitzgerald  TSA '17
Lauren E. Hickman  TSA '06
Wendy Weatherall Kerrigan  TSA '03
Peter J. Kilgust  TSA '10
Kristian O. J. Mizes  TSA '10
Byron J. Mouton  TSA '89
Christian E. Rodriguez  TSA '10
Steven B. Scollo  TSA '97
Charles D. Sterkx  TSA '88
Seth R. Welty  TSA '08
Will Rosenthal TSA '11
Sarah Saterlee TSA '14
Tom Holloman (fac)
Mac Ball  (BOA)
Z Smith (fac)





John Klingman to lead a 6 Day "Architectural Adventures" tour in New Orleans

Discover the magnificent architecture and rich cultural heritage of New Orleans on an exclusive, five day tour with Architectural Adventures. From the famous Creole Townhouses and Cottages in the French Quarter and the spectacular homes in the Garden District to post-Katrina sustainable neighborhoods and some of the most important contemporary structures in the city, experience the myriad of architectural gems of the Crescent City. Join our Architectural Adventures expert on this exclusive exploration of the past, present, and future of New Orleans.

More info at