By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) announced the Rosa F. Keller Building, launched earlier this year, has been awarded a 2013 Social Economic Environmental Design Award for Excellence in Public Interest Design.
For the third consecutive year, the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network and the Design Corps, both not-for-profit organizations founded on the principal of creating positive change in and for disempowered communities and individuals, have organized the SEED Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design — awards that recognize design projects with outstanding social, economic and environmental impact. This year’s partner is the University of Minnesota College of Design. Other winners include The SAGE Affordable Green Modular Classrooms in Gervais, Ore., and the Sudan Jalel School in Jalle Payam, Jonglei State, South Sudan, among others.
As previously reported on this page, the 60-unit Rosa F. Keller Building is New Orleans’ first supportive housing project. The mixed-income permanent housing development targets low-income workers as well as formerly homeless individuals. Located at 2222 Tulane Ave., the $17 million project was launched in April 2012 and features amenities such as a fitness center, a computer center, a multipurpose community room, an on-site laundry facility, a central open-air courtyard and on-site supportive service offices. The development was constructed according to Enterprise Green Communities standards and is energy efficient.
Non-profit UNITY of Greater New Orleans owns the property, while non-profit Community Solutions is responsible for the concept. Both organizations funded the development. New Orleans-based HRI Properties, a full-service real estate development company specializing in the adaptive reuse of historic structures, was selected as the developer, while HCI Architecture Inc. is in charge of design.
SEED is a principle-based network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building and supporting a culture of civic responsibility and engagement in the built environment and the public realm.
Founded in 1991, Design Corps is dedicated to creating positive change in communities by providing architecture and planning services. Design Corps mainly focuses on small rural communities composed of low-income families.
Photo courtesy of HRI Properties