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Bienville House in New Orleans, Louisiana designed by Nathan Fell Architecture

The New Orleans-based architectural studio Nathan Fell Architecture has recently designed "Bienville House" a single family home that located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Project description by the architect:

Logistics of this working family required them to stay tethered to their home for longer periods than each would prefer. This became become disruptive to wellness due to too much time at school, work and home spent indoors. The homeowners began to contemplate, like many families do, whether they would move to the suburbs to exchange proximity to great public parks and amenities for a larger backyard as outdoor access. Rather than moving far away, they decided to make a bold change by building a new house that flipped the script on indoor home life within a small urban lot.

Bienville House designed by Nathan Fell Architectureimage © Justin Cordova

The duplex is designed to maximize the use of the lot (32’x105’) with suitable space for separate, large families (or groups of people) in each unit. The central goal of the design was to configure communal spaces in a way that best accesses outdoor light, air and volume despite the density of required spaces. The rear unit consists of four bedrooms with 3 ½ baths and the front unit is a short-term rental with three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. The layout orients the rental unit as its public face, actively engaging travelers with the city, while mirroring the position of the primary unit to connect with the rear yard to favor seclusion.

a concrete house in New Orleans image © Justin Cordova

concrete home with wooden deck image © Justin Cordova

The first floor was designed to be voluminous with 12’ ceilings and stairs compressed as much as possible to maximize the square footage of the communal spaces. In the rear unit, an exterior deck continues from the interior communal space over the entire rear yard and extends under part of the upper floor volume along with a raised pool. Two sliding glass walls open to enlarge both interior and exterior spaces. The front unit sees a sliding glass wall to provide greater aperture to the exterior and leads to a deck flanking the front sidewalk. A raised planter wraps the front deck with enough height to provide inhabitants inside with privacy but is short enough for engagement with passersby.

woman sitting on the deck and watching his kids swimming in the pool image © Justin Cordova

a narrow pool inside the house image © Justin Cordova

Architectural forms are configured to accentuate the transparency between the interior spaces of the first floor and the exterior. The upper floors contain more private spaces and are wrapped by exterior surfaces forming an echelon of suspended cubic forms legible from multiple viewpoints including the underside. The exterior cladding wraps horizontally as the interior ceiling of 1st Floor Spaces to conveying a sense of outside within. The walls supporting the cubic forms are a series of monolithic, exposed concrete walls with a narrow gap between the walls and the cubic form to render each (the wall and cubes) distinctly. The static forms juxtapose the more animated interior space as a frame, reinforcing the transparency.

colorful sofa furnished for the living room image © Justin Cordova

modern kitchen made of wood image © Justin Cordova

Finishes on the first floor are raw and exposed, serving as a backdrop to render activity and furnishing more vividly. Concrete walls are exposed where possible and kitchen cabinets are clear stained walnut with handles routed into horizontal edges. Finishes on the upper floors, by contrast, are more static and colorful. A series of multi-colored accent walls are inserted to embolden the defined use of each distinct space.

two fans hanged in the kitchen image © Justin Cordova

concrete wall image © Justin Cordova

reflection of concrete wall in the pool image © Justin Cordova

pink and blue sofa in the living area image © Justin Cordova

black leather sofa image © Justin Cordova

modern kitchen with bar stools image © Justin Cordova

amazing kitchen design image © Justin Cordova

a small office with green wall image © Justin Cordova

modern office with yellow painted wall image © Justin Cordova

a small living room with orange wall image © Justin Cordova

Kid's bedroom with white shelves and blue wallimage © Justin Cordova

sun light entering the bedroom though window image © Justin Cordova

bedroom with narrow windows image © Justin Cordova

a black horse statue near staircase image © Justin Cordova

bathroom with concrete wall image © Justin Cordova

modern bathroom for the master bedroom image © Justin Cordova

small blue tiles are used for the flooring of this bathroom image © Justin Cordova

a yellow wall image © Justin Cordova

a Jacuzzi on the rooftop image © Justin Cordova

architectural plans for a modern house Plans

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elevation drawing Elevations

Structural details Section detail


Project name: Bienville House

Architecture firm: Nathan Fell Architecture

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Area: 4000 ft²

Year: 2019

Structure engineer: Morphy Makofsky, Inc

Builder: Deltatech Construction

Photographer: Justin Cordova


By Naser N. Ibrahim

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