The New Orleans Culinary College is located on the historic O.C. Haley Boulevard in Central City, New Orleans. Although the area was once a bustling commercial center, today, the street is a quiet, protected corridor, undisturbed by neighboring downtown New Orleans. Drawing on the rich traditions of the city, a new culinary arts college is proposed as the building’s program. The design of this new structure aims to bring new life to the vacancy that currently exists along O.C. Haley Boulevard.
To encourage interaction between the school and the community, restaurants and a bake shop are located on the ground floor. These spaces operate as voids within the mass and can be opened up to the exterior seating areas during the spring and summer months. Private school spaces such as lecture halls and classrooms are contained on the upper levels, beyond the access of the general public. Students enter the building into a large, central forum space. Here, visual connections between the different levels encourage openness and interaction between students. Programmatically, there are places to meet or study, and students can be found moving to and from classes.