Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, countless New Orleans communities emerged from the floodwaters ravaged virtually beyond repair. None more so than the Broadmoor neighborhood. Following a 2006 urban planning commission study that suggested a now-infamous “green-dot” proposal for redevelopment, the neighborhood was identified, with several others, as unsalvageable, and hence, not worth rebuilding. Incensed by what they viewed as a betrayal by their own city, residents took it upon themselves to restore their community. Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, working closely with the Broadmoor Improvement Association, secured funding for the first of numerous projects, the rebuilding of a library and community center to serve as the heart of their rebuilt neighborhood.

Workshops were held with the local community in identifying the type of atmosphere the new construction should afford. Residents acknowledged a distaste for historic library designs as silent space, and envisioned a living space, where the community could come together for conversation, debate, and celebration.

The structure today is one of seamless transition. The new library sensitively responds to the scale of the historic home, now restored as a community gathering space. Exterior spaces provide opportunities for neighborhood celebrations. Nearly a decade later, the project, replete with public gathering space and a rain garden, serve as a testament to community resolve and the role architecture and design play in urban revitalization.

Performance Metrics

  • Energy Use Intensity (EUI) measured during occupancy: 92 – 118 kBtu/sf/yr (2012-2018)
  • 2030 Baseline EUI: 112 kBtu/sf/yr (typical of existing buildings of this type, size, and location)
  • Energy modeled EUI:  117 kBtu/sf/yr
  • Energy modeled reference EUI (same design, built to just meet code): 143 kBtu/sf/yr
  • Energy modeled energy savings: 18%
Location: New Orleans, LA Map This Location
Size: 9,707 square feet
Year of Completion: 2012
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