A Festival Place- Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana
This design project explores the possibility of providing a flexible public space in a hot, humid urban area. Near the center of Lafayette, Louisiana, this social node will play host to festivals, concerts, Mardi Gras parades, and a farmer's market. The covered outdoor space serves as stage for civic life including reviewing stands, band venues, and a parade staging area. On weekdays, when local farmers are not selling their produce the naturally ventilated outdoor space can serve as a plaza that is protected against the daily thunderstorms of the summer season and cold drizzles of winter. Its program incorporates local food sales, dining, and cooking classes.
Site Concept: The site is within walking distance of residential neighborhoods and adjacent to common social gathering spaces near downtown Lafayette. It is served by a nearby structured parking garage for the majority of its parking, with an alleyway parking lot adjacent to the site providing more accessible spaces and parking for vendors and deliveries. The open-air market pavilion that covers the majority of the site is situated between a two-story service structure and the main road. The service building separates the plaza from adjacent residential uses, protecting the neighborhood without overwhelming it. An uncovered corner plaza faces two important downtown parks, and prominent bordering streets.