Suzanne Turner Associates

Teaching Terrace - LSU Medical Education Building

The director of the residency program at the LSU Medical School asked our firm to design the roof top garden on the second floor of the new Medical Education and Innovation Center Building (MEB) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The mission of the LSU MEB is to train physicians and scientists in the healthcare disciplines.

The garden design draws its inspiration from Louisiana’s cultural heritage while responding to the modular rhythm of the architecture. The result is a space rooted in both place and time.

The roof top garden is partitioned into five spaces--a classroom space, two conversation rooms, a reflective cove, and a larger gathering area. Because the site is south-facing, a vine-covered arbor surrounds three sides of the terrace, providing welcome shade. The arbor also gives important spatial enclosure to the large space, and houses fans, lighting and electrical outlets for student and faculty use. 

Our firm worked with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans to commission 'Red Reeds' by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.  The piece was selected as the major focal for the courtyard.  

A water feature, an early cast iron sugar kettle from a local plantation, forms an axial connection with the nearby interior “Reconciliation Room,” and is also on axis with the Chihuly piece, so that these axes organize the space. Benches under the arbor lining the building façade provide views out to the large social space of movable tables and chairs, and provide a “front porch” view. The paving pattern is an extension of the interior flooring module carried out to the terrace.

The plantings, choice of materials, furnishings, and intimate scale of the personal spaces all combine to create a place of comfort, of community, and of connection with nature.

List of Services offered on the Project:
Design, Garden Design, Green Roof Design, Urban Design

List of Collaborators:
VOA + BBA Design Partnership