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Humanitarians first: Trey Trahan Founder of Trahan Architects, a global architecture firm that mobilizes artistry and innovation to develop thoughtful structures that enhance quality of life.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
T rahan Architects (New Orleans, LA) is an award-winning firm, but Trahan, its founder, says he prefers not to dwell on accolades. The work, he says, is not about him, his firm, or even the buildings. It’s about creating spaces that evoke feeling and encourage kindness. He is continually exploring ways to cultivate generosity and inclusiveness in our relationships with each other and our environments. Trahan is commended for his innovative use of sustainable materials, stemming from his strong personal belief in the value of environmental conservancy and designing for racial and spatial equity in the built environment. “I want to create beauty, be profitable, and have financial stability,” Trahan says. “I am constantly monitoring howwe create the best product. I look at the big picture and also dive into the details. It’s about creating a balance between the two.” A CONVERSATIONWITH TREY TRAHAN. The Zweig Letter: In your bio, you say: “A building can create
something that goes beyond its walls.” Can you illustrate this with a recent example? Trey Trahan: It has to do with thinking about the environment that a building can create. A building or series of buildings can take us to a place that makes us look within and challenges us to rethink ways of doing and being. Personally, I take inspiration from churches – not so much related to the spiritual aspect, but to creating clean, pure spaces. I enjoy bringing that aspect to the commercial space. It’s about creating a holistic community. The Alliance Theatre in New Orleans is an ideal example of what I mean here. The design team felt a responsibility to remove the separation between balcony and orchestra – challenging historic notions of segregation and discrimination. All seating zones can be accessed from every entrance within the chamber – a unifying planning feature of the Alliance Theatre Transformation. TZL: Have you had a particular mentor who has guided you
THE ZWEIG LETTER M
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