John P. Isché Library Commons
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
433 Bolivar St.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nancy Bowden Stewart
2013 AIA Louisiana Award of Merit
2010 AIA New Orleans Award of Merit for Interiors
New Orleans Magazine:
“The Year’s Best Architecture”
The Times Picayune:
“Medical Students Study Amid Art, Artifacts of Their Profession”
In order to better serve students beyond the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center library’s normal hours of operation, a 24/7-operating commons on the main floor was designed in space formerly dedicated to audio/visual collections and current serials. The new space is divided into multi-media rooms, a café and coffee bar (featuring a 1931 Enrique Alférez frieze celebrating the Conquering of Yellow Fever, no less), and several study lounges.
Custom display cases house a multitude of artifacts—establishing a medical gallery for both pleasure and education—and showcase the history of the institution and practice of medicine in the local area. Perhaps the most unique feature of the project is a series of playful and provocative CNC-routed screens designed using abstracted medical imagery—fat cells, neurons, and heart muscles. As a composition, the cases and screens together define the various lounges and offer opportunities for both independent and group study. Improved lighting, custom furniture, and quality finishes combine to reinvent the previously inactive library, improving quality of life for faculty, staff, and students.
The CNC-routed screens were fabricated by Four Corners, LLC, based in Millerton, New York.