The first architectural final review was held at Tulane University in Richardson Memorial Hall on December 11th in conjunction with the PCI Foundation studio program. The review team in attendance included: Kevin Centanni (Chair of Friends of the Greenway), Ben Smith (Assistant Professor, Tulane), Judith Kinnard (11AM-2:00PM, Professor, Tulane), Margarita Jover (2:30PM-5:30PM, Associate Professor, Tulane), Emilie Taylor (Professor of Practice, Tulane), Nick Jenisch (Project Manager, Small Center/Tulane), Bob Hale (2:30PM-5:30PM, Visiting Favrot Professor, Tulane / Principal, Rios Clementi Hale Studios). Also part of the precast industry review team was Jeff Boykin, CFO of Boykin Brothers Concrete Products, Mark Ledkins, VP of Operations, Gate Precast and Dan Eckenrode, Executive Director, PCI Gulf South.

Ten students gave their final presentations on a sample project located in New Orleans. The “hypothetical” project is a greenway park located in New Orleans that was previously an old Railroad bed with a culvert that the city had turned into a park. The goal of the studio was to create possible solutions in which the park could be converted into a “ green space” for community use that is sustainable, resilient and multi-functional. The students spent much of the semester formulating ideas that integrated precast forms and structures to accomplish the goal.

As an impartial bystander, it was quite impressive to witness the ingenuity and depth of thought of the students. The combination of precast concrete with the green-scapes and the existing park features, created a user-friendly space while remaining extremely functional for the water issues on the site. Kudos to Charles Jones and the rest of the Tulane faculty for providing insight and direction to the students. It’s exciting to see the next generation of design professionals continue to push precast concrete in such inventive and expressive ways.

This is How Precast Builds!