The Housing Authority of New Iberia (HANI) became a client of Don J. O’Rourke and Associates in 2011. While much of our work focuses on Modernization of Housing at several different Housing Authorities around Louisiana, the renovation and modernization work at the Housing Authority of New Iberia posed a unique challenge for us. HANI was designed by A. Hayes Town in the early 1950’s. His distinct style permeates these homes. Because of this, we chose to work within Towne’s ideals to minimize the “changes” that so often occur in the modernization process.
Our focus was to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, Town’s intent by maximizing reuse of the existing spaces. We did reconfigure the interior kitchen layout to give more cabinet space. We also opened the space under the stairs in order to allow for additional storage. Other than updating the interior finishes and adding an HVAC closet on the ground level, the extent of the interior changes were minimal.
The front entrance was minimally altered by expanding the front porch. This allowed for a more inviting entrance space. Also, by cutting the exterior wall above the entrance doors, we were able to add larger closets in the front bedroom. We used red brick columns to maintain the existing style at the ground level and we used stucco on the exterior walls at the second level. Finally, we added energy efficient windows, security window screens and doors, and reroofed the buildings to complete the work.
We strived to maintain the integrity of A. Hayes Town’s design. We consciously practiced restraint with our addition. Town's original design was respected and minimally altered to meet the modern needs of the client. We sought to enhance the lives of the tenants, meet the needs of the Owner, and construct an addition that reflected and enhanced the original design intentions. We believe that each of these goals was achieved, not just as a result of our designs, but as a result of collaboration with the Owner, the Contractors, and our understanding of the historical significance of the original buildings.