Four Seasons New Orleans Hotel and Residences
Submitted By: Woodward Tishman, a Joint Venture
Owner: Two Canal Owner LLC
Lead Design Firm: CambridgeSeven
CM: Woodward Tishman, a Joint Venture
Civil: Royal Engineers and Consultants
Structural: Woodward Engineering Group
MEP: Moses Engineers
CM Joint Venture Partner: AECOM Tishman
Historic Architect: Trapolin-Peer Architects
The Big Easy’s iconic 33-story former World Trade Center tower sat empty for more than two decades before redevelopment plans for the structure finally came together. Due to historical preservation requirements, contractors used innovative techniques to transform the building from an office space into a five-star hotel and luxury condo high-rise.
As work on the $530-million rehabilitation project began in July 2018, contractors found it challenging to remove demolished materials with no vertical transportation in the building. So the team created a “common hoisting platform” to move materials and personnel to and from higher floors.
The system “had never been utilized before in New Orleans,” the team says. By using this system, the project’s daily operations were “positively impacted” and productivity increased.
The existing elevator shafts and adjacent shear walls that also served as the spine of the building needed to be reengineered and the core reinforced to accommodate more capacity. Removing and reconstructing the building’s top steel rotunda would have been easier for updates, but the team took great pains to modify the existing steel framing per historic requirements.
Another challenge was the project’s proximity to two active railroads and a rising river. In order to keep work moving underground and minimize delays, Wood Engineering needed permit waivers to safely work around limitations.
Inside, the use of building information modeling was essential to balance the building’s historical and modern updates, according to the team.
“A critical activity that benefited from BIM was the coordination of the MEP trades within the floor-to-floor structure,” says Wood Engineering.
Outfitted with luxury design elements, the hotel features a 15,000-crystal chandelier.
Photo courtesy of Woodward Tishman, a Joint Venture
A new five-story podium was added to the building to accommodate 20,000 sq ft of meeting space, two restaurants, a pool and a spa. The structure also has 341 guest rooms and 92 condominiums and penthouses.