The Housing Authority of Breaux Bridge requested that we design a new office space for the Executive Director and her office staff. The current office would then be repurposed for the maintenance staff and also serve as storage for past records. Our office had previously designed and constructed a community building located just around the corner from the office on Housing Authority property. However, in recent years, it was very rarely used by anyone, except for special meetings that were sparsely attended. Therefore, our focus was to repurpose this facility to work as their base of operations. The open plan layout provided us a “blank canvas” giving us infinite possibilities.
Our initial design idea was to provide spaces that were functional in their use while juxtaposing textures, color, and material to create a space that was secure, yet inviting. The interior brick partition wall adds texture to the lobby by being placed against the smooth gypsum board walls and stained wood elements. These elements are reminiscent of the old Breaux Bridge brick mill and factory. It also provides a physical barrier as well as sound attenuation during meetings. We lowered the interior borrow-lights in the wall in order to make it comfortable for the clients to see into the lobby while walking down the hallway. The overhead light fixtures illuminate the area completely.
Once through the lobby, you are greeted with an open slat wall. This slat wall separates the conference room from the hallway and is illuminated when the conference room is occupied. Again, the stained wood elements are brought through the room, both in the slat wall and overhead, connecting this room to the lobby. As you walk down the hallway, the horizontal openings of the slat wall and ceiling, along with the mortar joints of the brick, point you toward the office of the Executive Director. The openings allow you to see through the wall, softening the heaviness of the brick.
Commercial LVT with a weathered wood finish was installed throughout the space to continue the traditional motifs. The rich green-black color speckled through the striations of the LVT was used as the accent color for the doors, frames, and trim. The other colors used throughout the space were chosen purposefully with the intent of creating an open and inviting space.
We did not update or modify the exterior of the building as it had recently received a new roof and the façade was and is in excellent condition. The storage room remained a storage room; and the kitchen remained the kitchen. The other support spaces remained as well, except for a touch-up of paint. Our intent was to create an interior environment of functional office space that is inviting to the general public and safe for the office personnel.