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Eskew+Dumez+Ripple - Adaptive Reuse in Baton Rouge

The new Lamar Advertising Company headquarters building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Photo: Timothy Hursley

New Orleans, Louisiana-based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple designed the Lamar Advertising Company headquarters, an adaptive reuse project that transformed an existing 1970s Brutalist Modern data center building into an office space for a billboard advertising agency. The 115,000-square-foot (11,000-square-meter) building is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Exterior of the adapted Lamar Advertising Company headquarters. Photo: Timothy Hursley

"People require interaction in today’s workplace; they go to work to meet and collaborate, to brainstorm, to do research, to engage in a range of activities they don’t necessarily think of as “work” in the traditional sense of the word. Much of what is observed in creative environments is informal interaction in atypical or nontraditional settings, such as chance meetings in corridors or conversations around the coffeepot. The design proposal for this project was structured to reinforce this culture of openness.

"To accomplish this, the design radically alters the internal configuration of a 1970s-era data center but leaves the exterior essentially unchanged. In doing so, the design transforms what many considered a throw-away building into something exciting and unexpected, providing a creative environment that promotes interaction." – AIA

The Lamar Advertising interior combines sleek modern details with industrial elements. Photo: Timothy Hursley

Jury Comments
This project was commended for the simplicity yet complexity of the plan and section moves, especially the creation of the interior courtyard and the way light is brought into the building. 
The interior moves are made more powerful by the decision to retain the original exterior facade of the data center rather than remove and replace it with a glazed curtain wall.
The incorporation of various billboard-related elements is clever and well done.=
This project shows the potential for the reuse of the growing catalog of mid- and late-20th-century low-rise buildings throughout the country and demonstrates how an interior transformation can be a more sustainable approach than demolition and new construction.
 The building was recognized in the Interior Architecture category of the 2013 AIA National Design Awards.

Lamar Advertising Company section and axonometric drawings. Image: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Project Credits 
  • Architect: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
  • Owner: Lamar Advertising Company
  • Engineer - Civil/Site: ABMB Engineers, Inc.
  • Engineer - Civil/Structural: Fox-Nesbit Engineering, LLC.
  • Engineer - MEP: Henderson Engineers, Inc.
  • Engineer - Structural: Dean C. McKee, LLC.
  • General Contractor: Buquet-LeBlanc, Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Spackman, Mossop+Michaels
Site plan drawing. Image: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

An upper-floor conference space. Photo: Timothy Hursley

The building is organized around a central courtyard. Photo: Timothy Hursley

The lobby of the Lamar Advertising Company headquarters. Photo: Timothy Hursley

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