Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame, USA Regional History Museum Building Project Design News

Louisiana State Museum : Sports Hall of Fame

US Architectural Development design by Trahan Architects

post updated May 1, 2024

Design: Trahan Architects

Construction Begins On The New Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame And Regional History Museum Designed By Trahan Architects

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame: Museum
image from architects studio

July 22, 2009

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame

Natchitoches, LA – Trahan Architects is pleased to announce that heavy construction and foundation work has started this month on the new Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum in Natchitoches. The $12 million project will house the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame – a collection of memorabilia donated by more than 250 outstanding sports figures in Louisiana – as well as the North Louisiana Regional History Museum.

This new museum will operate as part of the Louisiana State Museum system, which is under the office Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu and whose collections embody the contributions of the diverse cultures that have shaped the state and are crucial to understanding the unique traditions and legacy of Louisiana and the Gulf South.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame
image from architects

Trahan Architects’ design for the museum unites these two programs – formerly housed in trophy cases lining a coliseum concourse at Northwestern State University and on the ground floor of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, respectively – in a stunning 28,000-square-foot contemporary venue that highlights the collections’ important cultural assets and recognizes each segment as part of the greater cultural history of the state of Louisiana. The building will also serve as a progressive space for community gatherings and events.

Sam Rykels, the Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana State Museum system, explains that “there has been a long movement to create a permanent home for both the Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum and we are striving to make that home a signature building – a true destination within the city of Natchitoches.” Principal Trey Trahan, FAIA, describes the project as “an incredible opportunity to create a place that will celebrate the deep history of North Louisiana, as well as the indelible influence sports have had on our state’s culture.”

For a museum celebrating this region’s special history, the city of Natchitoches represents an inspired location. Founded in 1714, Natchitoches is the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. The city’s historic, 19th-century commercial district, which is protected from alteration, is adjacent to the banks of Cane River Lake, the 35-mile-long oxbow lake that was formed from a portion of the Red River. The lake has given its name to the Cane River Creoles, the multi-cultural people of color who have historically lived in this area, and the Cane River National Heritage Area, which includes numerous preserved plantations and notable sites.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame
images from architects

In turn, the site of the new museum, on the border of the city’s commercial district and overlooking the lake, has inspired Trahan Architects to embrace this profound history and this historic landscape in its design. The museum’s exterior is clad in sinker cypress planks – (sinker cypress comes from cypress logs that have been buried for years in the soft muddy bottoms of rivers, lakes, swamps, and bayous) – a reference to the region’s rich timber legacy.

The spacing and manipulation of the boards control light, views and ventilation and create a sense of porosity, articulation, and texture that will animate the façade and mediate the building’s scale; these louvers are also a reference to the cladding at nearby Oakland Plantation, where wood planks were used for the purpose of mitigating the climate. The articulation of the building’s façade maintains the datum line established by the wrought iron balconies that define the elevations along Front Street.

In addition, on the interior, the firm derived the building’s geometry from the area’s distinctive geomorphology and aspects of the river’s hydromorphology. The design concept was guided by the fluid shapes of the braided corridors of river channels separated by interstitial masses of land – this idea becomes the organizing principle for visitor circulation and gallery arrangement.

The focus of the interior is the atrium, which will serve as a place for special events, gatherings and general spatial orientation. Clad in light-colored cast-stone panels, the space will be washed with natural light from all sides and will present an atmosphere of calm and reflection.

According to Trey Trahan, “our design is informed by the historic architecture and materials of the region, while presenting a contemporary architectural language to this remarkable city.” The project is scheduled to be completed in March 2011.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame images / information received 220709

Sports Hall of Fame Louisiana design : Trahan Architects

Location: Natchitoches, LA, USA

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