In New Orleans, there is no shortage of beautifully restored homes. With such charming, unique architecture, it's not a city where people make a habit of tearing things down and putting McMansions in their place. That said, it's rare to see a historic restoration that incorporates contemporary design — moreover successfully so. I was lucky to tour one of these rarities firsthand during my last trip to the Crescent City.
I learned after graduating from Tulane University that my graphic design professor, Robert Gassiot, and his partner Michael Clement had purchased a 19th century New Orleans shotgun and were in the process of restoring it and giving it a modern addition. It took three architectural drawings until the plans were finalized; the scope of the project included removing an existing enclosed porch, which was added in the '20s, gutting and restoring the kitchen and laundry/bathroom, and building a modified "camelback" tower in the rear with a modern architectural style.
When I visited in February, the project was essentially finished, and I was invited to spend a day with Robert and Michael, touring the space and learning about the project. The duo have tackled five previous renovations and have a strong interest in interior design, as well as in collecting local art. Michael, a landscape designer, made use of his skills by turning the backyard into an oasis for entertaining, dining al fresco, and relaxing. Michael is also an artist and sculptor, and many of his exquisite sculptures and lighting designs can be seen throughout the house.
Come take a look. Prepare to feel a pang of envy; you are in for a treat!