New orleans  usa architecture

BAA Destinations: New Orleans

As a practice we are dedicated to research. This involves travelling around the world to discover new and different ways of designing.


This year we have flown pretty much everywhere from LA to New York, Moscow, Romania and more. Our architects are always journeying to unique and beautiful places independently, capturing hidden gems and striking architectural landmarks.  We are delighted to share our findings and tips on the best architecture to see, food to eat and destinations to explore.


Where did you go?

JBW: We flew to New Orleans and stayed on the edge of the French Quarter, walking distance to City Park.

What impressed you most about the architecture?

JBW: I loved how varied the architecture was, there was everything from a large concrete WWII museum and giant Mercedes Benz super dome to cute Creole and American townhouses. The place we stayed at was a gorgeous compact renovated home – they made the kitchen out of reclaimed wood and concrete. Many houses were still ruined from the Hurricane, and others have been completely restored.

What were your favourite buildings or design features?

JBW: I particularly enjoyed the famous ‘Café Beignet’, not solely for the delicious fried doughnuts. They had an amazing curved ceiling with a retro plant mural trailing up the walls. The cast iron sign and furniture added to the overall aesthetic. I also loved the view from the garden where you could catch a glimpse of the Louisiana Supreme Court which was a neoclassical Beaux-Arts style building, consisting of Greco-Roman columns and arches. The town houses in the Garden district were all painted in beautiful pastel colours, adding a splash of colour to this vibrant city.

What would you recommend visiting while there?

JBW: Take a streetcar through the garden district and admire the sprawling Oak trees creating a canopy over the roads. If you look closely there are hundreds of Mardi Gras beads hanging from the branches. Visit the Ace hotel to drink some delicious coffee and cocktails in the trendiest space in NOLA. Go on a Ghost tour at night around the French Quarter and check out the haunted houses.

What was the food like?

JBW: Incredible and exciting. For seafood lovers, there was shrimp on every corner. If you want to try the best fried chicken in the world, go to Willie Mae’s (which was round the corner from our Air BnB). If you’re a vegetable lover check out Seed or Carmo. Killer Po’boys is the go to for carnivores and vegetarians alike. The sweet potato, blackened pea and pickled shallot Po’boy was to-die-for.

What is your best memory from the trip?

JBW: Practicing yoga in this gorgeous renovated townhouse, which was stripped back to reveal original brick walls and exposed ceilings. This was a welcomed break from the Jazz and hustle and bustle in the French Quarter. A close second was the 2 for 1 hot dogs at Dat Dog, where we were accompanied by two of the cutest dogs around.

What was particularly surprising or interesting about the people and culture?

JBW: Every person we met was so friendly and helpful, and completely in love with their city. We spent time with some of the most passionate, exciting and interesting individuals I’ve ever met, from such a range of backgrounds.

How would you summarise your experiences?

JBW: A beautiful combination of hectic and relaxed. The most surprising city I have ever visited with an extremely diverse history. Go with no expectations.

Photography and text courtesy of Jasmine Brand-Williamson