Size of Project
Number of Units
New Orleans, LA
New Construction, Historic Renovation
Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
Writing the next chapter.
Every building has a story to tell, and by actualizing our client’s vision, RNGD writes that next chapter. After the Louisiana Children’s Museum relocated from its longtime Julia Street residence, AJ Capital, a Nashville-based firm, acquired the property with plans to transform the location into a new residential and hospitality offering called Memoir. AJ Capital engaged RNGD as the Lead Contractor and Design-Build partner for the project’s MEP components. The vision for the project would see the former museum’s storied arches and shutter-lined structure connect harmoniously with the new construction of a five-story structure, holding 43 hotel rooms on the second floor and 70 residential apartment units on the remaining upper floors. The historic building’s first floor, which once housed the museum, would remain largely intact while it undergoes a sophisticated 20,000-square-foot transformation into Common House, a modern social club. The project also includes amenities such as a rooftop bar, pool and deck area, large gym, and courtyard. As specialists in marrying contemporary concepts with historic buildings, RNGD was well-equipped to guide this building into its next evolution.
Etched into the minds of all adults and children who found inspiration within the former museum are the iconic arched entrances facing Julia and Constance Streets. Fortunately, the historic aesthetic would be retained in the exterior. The interior, however, would need to be stripped down to its bare bones, and deconstructing 60% of a building within tight confines is no small feat. Our team meticulously crafted a demolition plan with a carefully considered cut line to clear the building for its next phase. As we cautiously pulled down portions of the structure, the team paid close attention to the interlinked wood supports and brick walls, ensuring a safe and delicate process. The building’s floors revealed their rich history through high points, low points, and layers of decking. To create a uniform elevation and cohesively integrate the new concrete with the old wood, a strip of metal decking with structural steel was installed, poured with concrete, and then topped with gypcrete to create a seamless monolithic floor. Every historic building holds its share of surprises, but with careful planning and talented problem solvers, it becomes just another day on site.