Monument house,

Kai Huang

An array of housing along a major axis in the city, coexisting with the monuments; bringing daily life to the monuments and reactivate the public space around them..

Thanks to their institutionalized cultural values, monuments often occupy significant spaces within a dense urban area. Creating invisible boundaries through landscape and paving, they distance themselves from the surroundings as well as audiences in order to be understood and appreciated.

Situated along Basin Street in New Orleans, six monuments were erected during “Garden of the Americas” in 1957. Portraiting leaders from various social and political movements, they intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of New Orleans and unite the local communities; however, these delicate sculptures are trapped on the median strips along the boulevard, resulting a large, open but unwelcoming and unwanted space within the neighborhood.

This project sees the median strips of Basin Street as potential sites of a new type of low-income collective housing, densifying and therefore, reactivating the spaces around the monuments. It aims to correct the failed attempt of these monuments by bringing the everyday life back to the sites of these monuments and offering an urban “porch“ for the local communities.


Author: Kai Huang.
Location: Louisiana, USA.
University: Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD).
Year: 2022