Designed and constructed by students in an academic design/build program, 39571 InfoWash is a direct response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi. In an attempt to meet both the physical and emotional needs of the community, the project houses both a 24-hour Laundromat and an organization which provides rebuilding assistance to local residents. The simple task of washing one’s clothes thus provides immediate relief while easing community members into the long and complicated process of reconstruction. Because of its program and context, 39571 InfoWash has a responsibility to provide a physically and psychologically sheltered realm, while at the same time projecting an open and inviting presence to its community.
Composed of two volumes connected by a covered breezeway, the southern side of the building is sheltered by a deep overhanging roof, while a translucent polycarbonate northern wall provides ample daylight to interior spaces and allows the building to glow at night. A panelized wood slat screen attached to aluminum straps wraps both the opaque and translucent walls tying together the program elements while adding a degree of warmth and familiarity to the expression of the facades. Western Red Cedar was chosen as the primary exterior material because of its resistance to insects, its workability, and its natural weathering characteristics.
Combining elements that address the short-term and long-term needs of the community, 39571 InfoWash attempts to offer residents a return to normalcy and provide much needed services once taken for granted.
The project was envisioned by local resident, Martha Murphy, who saw an opportunity to engage the students of The Design Workshop after a conversation with Federico Negro, a graduate from the Master of Architecture Program and a member of SHoP Architects. SHoP Architects were in DeLisle working with Martha Murphy to rebuild immediately after Katrina hit, and provided critical input and support for the Design Workshop project.
Architects: The Design Wirkshop, Parsons The New School for Design
Location: Delisle, Mississippi, USA
Spring Studio Instructor: David J. Lewis
Summer Studio Instructor: Terry Erickson
Summer Staff: Joel Stoehr
Students: Huy Bui, Ivan Chabra, Sarah Coffin, Christian Eusubio, Dominique Gonfard, Kailin Gregga, Dominic Griffin, Parker B. Lee, Laura Lyon, Kip Katich, Nora Meehan, Shana Sandberg, Emily Wetherbee
Architect of record: Shop Architects
Client: Mississippi Katrina Fund, with special thanks to Martha Murphy, Kathi Heinzel, Bill Heinzel, and Loretta Lizana
Consulting Structural engineering: Dunne & Markis Consulting Structural Engineers
Engineer of Record: Goeffrey Clemens / Compton Engineering P.A. (Bay St. Louis, MS)
Constructed Area: 185.8 sqm
Photographs: Laura Lyon & Ivan Chabra