May & Ellis

Adaptive Reuse of the former furniture store into contemporary French Quarter residences.

Adaptive Reuse, Interiors, Mixed-Use Multi-Family

New Orleans, LA

40,000 SF


Formerly home to Hurwitz-Mintz Furniture, these building included large, deep floorplates suited to furniture display and storage. To adapt these buildings for use as contemporary residences, the design approach needed to accommodate present life-safety code requirements, new building services, and a logical, clear plan with access to natural light.

Great care was taken to renovate the existing building structure, including masonry and stucco repair, retention and repair of existing historic windows, and restoration of beadboard ceilings while introducing a contemporary language for the residential units. Building amenities and a residential penthouse are placed toward the rear of the existing roofs to limit visual impact from the street and to preserve the historic character of New Orleans’ famed French Quarter neighborhood.

Trapolin-Peer Architects created 25 residential units with ground-floor commercial tenants by carving lightwells through the middle of each building. These carry light throughout the building, provide a convenient route for building services, and organize the plan with circulation at the center and residential units along the exterior of the building to capture natural light and views. The two buildings were combined into a single lot of record, allowing additional windows to puncture the wall above the roof of the shorter building, further brightening the interior spaces.