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École Spéciale d'Architecture (Travis)

  • SuperDutch SuperNOLA

    Now that I've come back to New Orleans and Tulane I should probably get around to emailing Paul Petrunia or whomever about changing my school status from the ESA to Tulane but until I take that initiative, I'll just carry on assuming people can figure it out.

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    For my second to last studio at school I ended up choosing a studio that bases its premise on a colloquium that happened a little under a year ago. It involved bringing in varies Dutch architects, planners, landscape architects, hydrologists, engineers, politicians, lawyers, blah blah to New Orleans to do essentially a mini charette around saving New Orleans by re-thinking its approach to water. It seems that they realize that although the Netherlands and New Orleans are similar in their imminent danger to water, the situation in New Orleans is just altogether worse in just about every way possible.

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    So in particular we are focusing not so much on hurricane protection but on simply dealing with rainwater. Basically every time it rains in New Orleans (this weekend for example) it floods up to 5 feet of water in some areas of the city because although we have a fair amount of underground canals and larger pumping stations than exist anywhere else, they still can handle the flash-flood levels of water that come with just a rainstorm (i.e. up to 15 inches in under 24 hours) nevermind a hurricane. Bottom line, the result of the colloquium was closing MRGO, creating barrier islands, and introducing more open, wet canals into central New Orleans to alleviate flooding especially in the centre of the city and slow subsidence. So we're trying to figure out what that would look like.

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    We're running the studio a lot more on the lines of a quick charette on a lot of little things so that we can end up generating a lot of material that they can use for later small publications in the city rather than getting crazy focused on one area of the canal in the manner of a normal studio project. We started by dividing the proposed canal site into 4 block segments and in partners we would develop proposals along these sections.

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    Just a few images, no further explanation.


  • It's over.

    I finished presenting for my final review literally ten minutes ago. Literally, I just sat down and started blogging. I have to say this semester has been a more than a little bizarre just in the way it's set up, though I guess it's just my non-French self trying to figure out how studio works...


  • En bossant

    We had a small rendu today for this past two weeks of work. These are just a few images I presented, however most of the work was in models. Unfortunately my camera (like every other piece of technology around me, it seems) is on the fritz. In fact, I just came back from a harddrive failure and...


  • That Program Thing

    It's really bizarre, the way we're working. We've spent the last two months or so doing research on methods of approach and urban concepts, in each person's preferred direction. Now we've developed a program for the design project itself, for a different program for each person based on this same...


  • Teddy Cruz Lecture

    Last week, Teddy Cruz came, ostensibly to lead a week-long workshop/charette that the school hosts every semester (last semester it was Paul Virillio). Though in fact, from what I could tell the workshop didn't yield a who lot. However his lecture that he gave before the workshop was excellent. I...


  • Le Grand Pari[s]

    Since our studio subject is taking place in Massy in the banlieue, it's pretty much necessary that we take into account a project that is in the works currently here in Paris, Le Grand Pari[s]. This is a project proposed by the ever-unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, two years ago...


  • And we start again

    And finally I can start back up here. The enormous gap between this entry and the last is because we only this week started the Spring semester. I think they try and make the Winter and Summer breaks equal so that people can find internships during both breaks. This happened to be also what I did...


  • Urban Ecologies Conference

    As part of our final jury and the theme of our studio, this conference will be taking place at the ESA.


  • Well a lot has changed

    It turns out the government department with which we were partnering on our project decided that it would, in the future, hold an architecture competition on certain aspects of the canal project and thus would be unable to provide us with previous discussed materials (i.e. maps, climatological...



  • A little Charetting

    So about a week ago I took part in a one week charette with a bunch of American grad students from Catholic University of America (in DC) studying here in Paris. Basically it was one student from the ESA paired with one American student. It was kind of a campy project and pretty typical of an...


  • Pin Up and Change

    Well a lot of things are changing as we seem to be having a fair amount of problems with the government organization that we're partnering with on this project. Apparently they have an interest in hosting a large scale architecture design competition for a few aspects of their 106 km canal...


  • So things have been a little slow...

    As our studio remained only two students, we were joined in with a studio of fifth year diploma students working under the same professor with more or less the same parameters (though larger and more intense). That is, we are still addressing this soon the be built 106 km canal in Northern France...


  • Thanks Jane

    So the other day I was walking around in the 18th arrondissement and as I was crossing the street to get to the metro, I realized the was an argument going on in the middle of the intersection between a woman, straddling a bicycle, and an older man. Then the man shoved the woman in defiance...


  • Ah yes, and of course, the lecture series

    And the upcoming one:


  • Send Offs, Take Offs, and Evacuations

    Looks like I'm getting out of here right on time: Meet Gustav. On the left side of the cone:Houston. Where I am now. Where I grew up. On the right side of the cone:New Orleans. Where Tulane School of Architecture is. Where I am and have been enrolled for three years. Didn't we just do this some...


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  • TK. B

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