Residential Design

VOL.2 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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and institutional projects—but houses and housing make up the majority of the work. The architects fully embrace a charming historic building or a com- pletely modern new one, but what they never lose sight of is how it pairs with the scale and spirit of the city. "We do large-scale multifami- ly, and we'll do a kitchen remodel," says Wayne. "We're like a small firm pretending to be a big one. We have a young staff. Right now, we have five or six licensed architects, and most have gone through their training with our firm. We are 15 people total. We have an active university practice, and we have a $65 million mixed-use project in permitting. Each project informs the others, especially the custom work. And the smaller work gives the younger designers some good experience." The firm is more than 25 years old, but Wayne added Traci and Julie as partners just two years ago. The wake-up call to initiate succession planning came four years ago, when Wayne lost a dear friend and some- time collaborator, Frederic Schwartz, FAIA, to cancer. A health scare of his own underlined the urgency to take action. "Fred's death hit me hard. I was working with him at the time, and he got sick and died—with no transition in place and no clear path for his clients," Wayne recalls. "I wanted to make sure that the people who worked with me and supported me over the years had something they could take as their own, and that they would have a basis for continuing their practice. It was something I thought was equitable, and something they appreciated as well. For sure, though, firm ownership is not for the faint of heart." Both Tracie and Julie have been with the firm for more than 10 years and share Wayne's passion for re- viving New Orleans' precarious structures. "I've been very lucky to find the right people. We're very much an open studio practice," he says. "It's why I love coming to the office— getting to have conversations about intention and details and how to work with some new material and put it together." Old Made New A background in music (it was his undergraduate degree at Loyola before architecture school at Tulane) under- pins Wayne's sense of balance and rhythms in design work. It's something you can see at play in 704 Marigny, a renovation to an early 1800s building in the Marigny district, adjacent to the French Quarter. The structure started life as a corner store with a dependency Above, left to right: Although modern, the Webster Street Residence applies antebellum lessons in climate control and street presence. Above: An axonometric section shows the center living space and its 24-foot-high ceilings. Photo: Sara Essex Bradley Photo: Sara Essex Bradley Drawing: studioW TA 18 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2018 PRO-FILE DESIGN

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