The Open Classroom project envisions a multi-purpose space on the former site of a 9/11 Memorial on Tulane’s Uptown campus—a project thwarted by hurricane Katrina. The design concept is a reincarnation of the memorial as a Temple of Sustainable Technology and Education, reflecting the milieu of the post-9/11, post-Katrina society.
The proposed pavilion consists of a roof canopy, a floor deck, and operable screen walls. It pays homage to the 9/11 Memorial by resurrecting the abandoned foundation. The canopy functions as an armature supporting a solar energy collection system designed to harvest energy to illuminate the structure and feed a fleet of electric golf carts and a digital display system showcasing the University’s commitment to sustainable campus development. Operable screen walls create a series of covered teaching-learning spaces that can be configured to accommodate various groups and their gathering styles. It also transforms the pavilion into a stage for occasional all-campus scale gatherings.
Site work mediates the edge condition between the existing adjacent building and the pavilion, reshaping the perception of the campus grounds. The design provides a passageway connecting parking to the quad as well as an ADA ramp to the building entrance and raked seating for the pavilion. A “digital kiosk,” a solar powered message board displaying the University’s community initiatives and service activities, is designed to accompany the structure.