Art Deco exterior is updated with windows that reflect the building’s historic character.
Opened in March 2016, Ace Hotel New Orleans has transformed the 1928 Art Deco, nine-story Barnett’s Furniture building into a 234-room boutique hotel with dining, retail, event, and meeting spaces, plus a rooftop pool. The 184,000-sq.-ft., mixed-use hotel and retail center is situated in the middle of New Orleans’ Warehouse District at the corner of Carondelet and Lafayette Streets.
Part of the city’s South Market District development, the property combines two historic buildings with a new, four-story structure. Architecture firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, New Orleans, led the project’s unified design. Guided by the construction manager joint venture of Broadmoor LLC, Metairie, LA, and Palmisano Contractors, New Orleans, DeGeorge Glass Co., Metairie, installed Winco Windows, St. Louis, throughout the property.
Developed by The Domain Companies, New Orleans, the project’s financing included federal and state historic tax credits. To restore the historic portion’s exterior, a total window replacement was required.
Originally designed by Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth Architects, the property was first known as the Maison Blanche Building. Unfortunately, its 1920s wood-framed hung windows were replaced in the 1980s with fixed windows that did not reflect the building’s historic character. Several sources were located to help determine the former windows’ proportions and style.
Replicating the original windows’ appearance with modern, hurricane-code performance, Winco Windows manufactured the replacement units using aluminum framing with a thermal break and historically appropriate grid profiles. Linetec, Wausau, WI, finished the windows’ aluminum framing and grid in a traditional black color.
To ensure the hotel maintains its intended historic look, Linetec applied a 70% polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based coating to the Series 4410S and 3250 windows. “These architectural coatings exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss, and chemicals. They will ensure a long-lasting, durable finish.,” said Linetec’s senior marketing specialist, Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate.
The 70% PVDF coatings meet the industry requirements set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, IL, as AAMA 2605-13. Linetec is a recognized, environmentally responsible finisher. It captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content using a 100% air-capture system and destroys the VOCs with a regenerative thermal oxidizer, so there is no adverse environmental impact. Linetec then re-uses its heat-energy byproduct to improve process energy efficiency. This process of re-use is completed before the material exits the paint line.
Beyond the behind-the-scenes environmental advantages, the windows protect against extreme temperatures to help keep guests comfortable in the hot Louisiana climate. Thermal performance also contributes to energy efficiency and helps reduce associated heating and cooling costs.
In addition to thermal performance, the windows needed to meet the area’s hurricane codes. To help the existing structure handle the fastener loads of these heavy-duty units, additional metal framing was required to reinforce the jambs without affecting the overall window sightline.
“The advanced research, partnership, design, and testing allowed a final installation that was able to restore the building to its original glory and design, while meeting the current high-performance window and hurricane codes,” said Winco’s technical sales and business development manager, Kurtis Suellentrop, EIT.
Ace Hotel’s welcome message expresses a similar sentiment, “Work can be a beautiful thing when done beautifully, and it’s a lot more fun done together than apart.” Arriving at the New Orleans location, guests and their pets are greeted in a lobby that feels more like a living room filled with curios, mementos, and a well-stocked bar. They are offered a choice of restaurants with menus by James Beard Award-winning chefs, near-nightly entertainment, and a gallery of original artwork by local artists and friends of the hotel.
The hotel is described as “…a collection of individuals—multiple and inclusive, held together by an affinity for the soulful. …We believe that hospitality is compassion, that it is not servility but genuine concern for others’ well-being and the ability to live with empathy.” These words strike a chord resonating with the people and places they represent and convey an organization with deep consideration for each element–and every window–that creates its guests’ experiences.