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Tulane University’s new student center combines the old and the new

StudioWTA designed the building.

March 28, 2019 |

Photo: Neil Alexander

Located on Tulane University’s Gibson Quad, Mussafer Hall combines the adaptive reuse of a 1902 brick building with a modern limestone addition. The building is the home of the Center for Student Success, which brings together Tulane’s Academic Advising and Career Services programs.

The 1902 Dutch-Renaissance style building was originally constructed as the college’s first dormitory. The long, narrow building was divided by a double-loaded corridor. The glass-fronted offices and interview rooms lining the hall have windows looking outside to make the building feel open and bright. Two original stairwells have been repurposed as lightwells and, where possible, original brick interior walls were exposed and repointed.


Mussafer hall stairwellPhoto: Sara Essex Bradley.


The addition sits on a tight site between the 1902 building and a 100-year-old oak tree. The 7,600-sf building navigates its site with a series of shifting cantilevered volumes clad in stucco, limestone, and glass. Mussafer Hall’s triangular footprint is set back from the historic building and angled away from the tree to protect its roots and canopy.


Photo: Neil Alexander.


The central ground-floor space is designed to accommodate classes, lectures, meetings, receptions, seminars, and other events. Black millwork panels conceal storage areas, flex space, and marker boards.

Mussafer Hall is the second full building studioWTA has designed on Tulane’s campus and the firm’s 12th project for the School.


Photo: Sara Essex Bradley.


Photo: Sara Essex Bradley.


Photo: Sara Essex Bradley.


Photo: Sara Essex Bradley.


Photo: Neil Alexander.


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