Son of a Saint

Paying homage to the historic character of the century-old icehouse structure and relaying the professionalism and importance of Son of a Saint’s mission.

Commercial, Interiors, Education & Institutional

New Orleans, LA

15,605 SF


Founded by Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, Son of a Saint is a not-for-profit organization that provides critical resources to fatherless boys in New Orleans. With growing demands for the incredible services offered – tutoring, college counseling, mental health therapy, nutrition education, peer-to-peer enrichment activities, culinary lessons, fitness opportunities and more - the organization purchased a 100-year-old icehouse that had been previously converted into a co-working space with plans to renovate and accommodate their specific needs and programs.

With an emphasis on the interior atmosphere, Trapolin-Peer’s design approach aims to create a space that is welcoming and playful for the young mentees, while relaying the professionalism and importance of the organization’s mission: enhancing the lives of fatherless boys, by equipping them with the tools they need to become productive men.

It is a privilege to collaborate with visionary organizations like Son of a Saint that are truly making an impact in the community. Everything they do is in service to their mission to enrich the lives of fatherless boys - the intention and passion are inspiring. Most of our community centered projects have a focus on supporting youth empowerment and the Son of a Saint vision aligned perfectly.

Paula Peer, AIA | Principal

The renovated facility is composed of spaces ranging in size for specific and evolving programming needs to accommodate the array of services provided. Flexibility is provided through levels of transparency and scaled adjacencies, offering mentors the opportunity to use an open lounge for tutoring groups on the weekdays and a place where everyone can watch the game with large garage doors to outside on the weekends. These larger spaces are centralized to smaller rooms available for more intimate needs, such as quiet study rooms and administrative offices.

The administrative area includes private and shared workspaces for staff. A bar/island allows for flexible work needs and creates connection to the larger open lounge. The result is the offices feel connected and approachable, and less like a restricted area. To allow natural light to filter through the building, the offices are built from a light shelf.

The space also features a mezzanine-level game room, large kitchen for culinary classes and grab-n-go meals, a newly constructed multi-use penthouse and deck, and fully equipped gym. 

For Son of a Saint, the utilization of the building cannot be overstated. In addition to becoming a center and safe haven for the young men in the program, the headquarters will also allow the organization to bring previously outsourced programming in-house. Services provided by Son of a Saint will include technology labs, private individual and group therapy sessions, tutoring services, ACT and college prep, creative arts, nutrition education, cooking classes, enrichment activities and much more.

Recognition for Son of a Saint


Louisiana Landmarks Society
Excellence in Historic Preservation

Associated Builders and Contractors - Bayou Chapter
Excellence in Construction

Society for Marketing Professional Services
Community Service Project of the Year