Like every ekistics project, this one is beautifully designed and infused with great meaning. It is a spiritual practice for us, born of our belief that beauty is a gift which inspires and uplifts the human spirit.
Key to this beauty, the architectural form should help perform the function of the building. Legends Frank Lloyd Wright and Aldo Rossi advocated this approach passionately, cautioning that fake architecture – a new building designed to look like an old one - always fails. So too do artificial buildings that mimic architectural forms created to serve some other use. For instance, a short fat building is an ideal warehouse but not an ideal place to live. For this reason, the form of this building is designed to enhance its residential and retail functions.
Similarly and also in keeping with Wright’s “organic architecture” and Rossi’s “urban artifact,” Elisio Lofts uses materials and technology of today, while reflecting the essential character and spiritual essence of this riverfront edge of Marigny. Mindful of context, culture, climate, history and a new time, the building is:
Ethereal. Light. White. Metal. Wood. Vertical. Horizontal. With vestigial “fingerprints” of Spanish, French, Italian, Caribbean, Greek, Roman and Senegalese influences. Artfully patterned windows, inspired by mixed glass windows on proximate churches, offices and the power plant. A height of 74 feet on less than 1/3 of the property located right on Elysian Fields boulevard, which could use some energy and handsome street presence. More solid on lower floors and as the building moves deeper into “the rectangle” where privacy is important. Stepped down to 50 feet and 22 feet in the case of the middle warehouse we are reusing. Less solid on upper floors to embrace views of the river, Quarter and Marigny. Flooring throughout the lobby and public spaces made from recycled timbers found here and salvaged from the Rice Mill offers the soulful warmth of a familiar material presented with a twist. Balconies, both Juliette and cantilevered. Thoughtful shifts in texture, pattern and material which reflect well the utterly remarkable array you see in our video.
Seen together, the ensemble is an uncommonly beautiful building, infused with great meaning and sure to be admired as a joyful place to live, work and visit. With great personality. Theatrical. Animated with pedestrian activity by day and night. A richly verdant Caribbean landscape. A captivating roof. And a middle architectural-artifact building, which when juxtaposed, evokes the signature sense of place in this city – the beautiful mix of old and new.
In addition to architecture and interiors, we are making great progress in environmental engineering. This building will be twice as energy efficient as traditional construction. We are buying exceedingly efficient lighting, air conditioning and windows. We are championing alternative modes of transportation, adding Chargepoint’s electric car charging station and abundant bike and scooter parking. The skin absorbs very little heat. And, we just love this one for kool cooling - the world's first thermostat that learns. Since homes guzzle 22 percent of all energy, with AC feasting on 12 percent just by itself, we’re thrilled to include the Nest thermostat for our customers.
Residents will enjoy a far healthier living environment, in addition to the reduced carbon footprint. Operable windows provide carefully chosen pathways for natural light and fresh air. Low emission paint, adhesives, sealants and a firm Smoke-Free policy produce purer air to breath, while Bosch water filters make the water healthier to drink. The building's own sustainable rooftop garden will produce fresh produce and herbs.