Tulane School of Architecture develops new programs, designs addition for Howard-Tilton

Tulane’s School of Architecture is relatively small with less than 300 students but has recently become more nationally recognized and has developed a number of new programs. These new opportunities for students include designing a proposal for a Howard-Tilton Memorial Library addition and introducing a real estate program within the school.

DesignIntelligence Quarterly recently awarded the School of Architecture a spot as No. 17 in the ranking of the nation’s top architecture schools. This is the second consecutive year the school has been included in the nonprofit organization’s ranking of the nation’s top 25 architecture schools.

“This is affirming and exciting for our students, faculty and alumni … and it has been noted by many prospective students and parents alike,” said Kenneth Schwartz, dean of Tulane’s School of Architecture.

The School of Architecture has recently diversified, expanding the range of issues in which it engages. The goal is to give students a range of opportunities, both within and outside of the field of architecture.

A number of projects have been recent developments, including the designing of a proposal for a new addition to Howard-Tilton, as part of the fourth-semester architecture course.

Tulane’s dean of libraries, David Banush, originally proposed the idea of architecture students collaborating with the library administration. The course was taught by Kentaro Tsubaki, associate dean for academics and Favrot Associate Professor of Architecture.

Students focused on three stages of the project: studying the library and how it currently functions, looking at books as artifacts, and designing the addition to the library.

This addition was designed to hold The Southeastern Collection, a consolidation of the four main special collections at Tulane: The Louisiana Research Collection, South Eastern Architectural Archive, Hogan Jazz Archive and University Archives. These collections are currently held in Jones Hall, and students see a new addition to the main library as a more suitable option for housing the collection.

“This particular studio is situated as a transition from more abstract, artistic engagement to a more realistic, critical architectural issues,” Tsubaki said. “We thought library is a perfect example. Everybody has some idea of what library is about, but you haven’t really looked into it from a designer’s perspective.”

A real estate program within the School of Architecture offers both a graduate school master’s degree program and an undergraduate summer institute minor.

Moving forward, the School of Architecture hopes to further diversify the opportunities it offers and make design education more accessible to all Tulane students.

“Architects have an impact on the built environment around you, and everyone should care about creating better, more sustainable cities and communities,” Schwartz said. “If we are better preparing to help accomplish that goal, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

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