Via Latrobe

2940 Royal St.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Expansive development of mixed use along the train tracks separating the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, including 253 residential lofts, ground floor commercial space, a new pedestrian street, and generous shared outdoor space throughout the two-block site
Ekistics, client
517,535 sf

Wayne Troyer FAIA

Ross Karsen

Daniel Kautz

Project Type: Commercial, Housing, Unrealized Projects

Royal Lofts present an ageless design for an ageless city, where tradition and modernity exist together, interacting every day. Celebrating New Orleans’ distinct sense and spirit of place, Royal Lofts presents an honest assemblage of individual communities linked by, and interwoven with, interior courtyards, exterior passageways and an easy strolling street. These traditional and timeless elements of New Orleans and Afro-Caribbean culture offer spaces of creativity, repose, family, gathering, safety and exploration, creating the opposite of an anonymous apartment complex.

Directly speaking to the Bywater’s humble utilitarian and industrial roots, each building at Royal Lofts is designed without fuss. No element is purely for design, but rather performs both for the space and for its inhabitants. In the spirit of bargeboard and bousillage, the project’s usage of brick, plaster, metal and glass is utilitarian, functional, edgy and exciting in a way that captures and defines the spirit of living in the Bywater and New Orleans.  Courtyards, balconies, and interior streets add a distinct sense of life lived out in the open, directly connecting Royal Lofts and its inhabitants back to their Afro-Caribbean roots.

Spread across two city blocks, Royal Loft’s varied building masses tell uniquely New Orleans tales to their inhabitants and passers-by. Buildings on square 143 relate directly to the 19th century industrial classicism visible in neighboring structures such as the Rice Mill Lofts while injecting a new residential spirit into a once industrial corridor. Precise ordering systems, regulated fenestration patterns and masonry construction are paired with Juliet balconies, interior courtyards and open living spaces to mark a new chapter in the life of the Bywater.

Buildings across Square 169 speak stories of discovery and innovation; of the evolution of building forms across time and uses as well as the evolution of industry and the nature of life, work and play. Their linear forms both new and old call back to utilitarian growth and expansion as well as their location by the rail tracks, with vertical beacons making visible the creative thread of innovation and entrepreneurship that is redefining the Bywater and New Orleans today.  Adapting the existing form of storage warehouses, Square 169’s buildings take advantage of their linearity and ample square footage to provide open expanses of views, living space, and fields of urban agriculture. Traditional partitioning of these spaces (evident in the existing warehouse remaining on the block) inspires select moments of vertical height. These beacons, as visual bastions of making and innovation in the city through bold form and innovative skin, speak to yet another evolution of building form in New Orleans: one that champions creativity, innovation, and the modern continuation and interpretation of tradition.