An existing river dock in downtown Baton Rouge will soon be updated into a spectacular mixed-use development with sweeping views of the Mississippi River. Designed by Baton Rouge-based Trahan Architects, the Municipal Dock is covered in a beautiful louvered wooden facade that provides shade and natural ventilation. The new development will provide residences along an important thoroughfare in between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU while reviving the riverfront area with more commercial activity.
The existing dock was once used to load and unload barges on the river, but it has since fallen into disuse. As the dock’s foundation is still solid, the new mixed-use development will be added to it in a green renovation of sorts. The new 56,700 sq ft development includes dock facilities, commercial space, a public plaza, and residential units of various sizes. Taking inspiration from the nearby landscape and nature, the new dock is a stack of blocks shifted to provide terraces for apartments and optimal views. The dock is easily accessed via a new covered walkway from the road or the pedestrian path that runs along the riverfront.
Larger residential units are located at the ends, while smaller units are placed in the center over an arched public space. The entire building is covered in a louvered wooden system that gracefully arcs from north to south, acting as a shade screen for the residences below. Louver spacing was carefully planned to let in the optimum amount of light, mitigating solar heat gain. Air can easily circulate under the screen, allowing the building to take advantage of the river below for naturally cooling.