Rehabbing a Historical Landmark to a Four Seasons Hotel

Rehabbing a Historical Landmark to a Four Seasons Hotel

Rehabbing a Historical Landmark to a Four Seasons Hotel

  • The team rebuilt and restored a historical Louisiana landmark
  • Developed a multi-faceted approach to strengthen the building
  • ACI Award of Excellence Winner
Project Team
    Specialty Contractor
  • Woodward Design+Build-Tishman (WTJV Woodward Tishman Joint Venture)
    Engineer Of Record
  • Woodward Design+Build-Tishman (WTJV Woodward Tishman Joint Venture)
    General Contractor

Two Canal Place is a multistory building familiar to many in New Orleans. Formerly a professional hub and home to The New Orleans World Trade Center, the skyline fixture stood desolate for decades after enduring hurricanes, recessions, and much more.

Recently, Two Canal Place was purchased by a new owner with the vision of it becoming a luxurious Four Seasons Hotel and Living. The building was classified as a Historic Site by The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, so any upgrades made to the building has to meet strict standards to uphold its historical value.

During investigation, it became apparent that structural challenges needed to be addressed to meet the new structural and historical design requirements. Four concrete elevator shafts served as the crucial elements in transferring the wind loads from the exterior façade, through the center of the structure, to the foundation. Based on the building’s functional needs to keep the historical integrity while restoring it to luxury brand standards, these existing elevator shafts needed approximately 27 new openings cut into them. The new openings weakened the shafts, creating structural deficiencies in the foundational elements.

Working with a Design Build team, STRUCTURAL helped to develop a multi-faceted approach to the strengthening of the existing elevator shafts to accommodate these new openings. The solution needed to include different elements of strengthening, such as carbon fiber, concrete section enlargement, and steel plate installation.

Due to the space constraints in the northeast elevator shaft, the team designed a strengthening solution that utilized a specialized rod with threaded couplers, creating a long section of reinforcing steel, extending from the elevator pit through the 19th floor.

Since the original concrete in the building was lightweight, STRUCTURAL needed to strengthen the load so the same structure could hold current standard concrete. The team designed a solution that utilized self-consolidating concrete to be mechanically bonded to the existing wall. The existing concrete was then sponge-blasted to ensure adequate bonding of the new concrete. The team also used high strength internal reinforcement for the enlargement. Over 36 tons of steel was installed into only 4,500 SF of space and then pinned to the wall.

STRUCTURAL helped to test and modify the specialized concrete mix to ensure proper flow and consolidation in the small space.

The specialized single-sided formwork systems and placement methodology was done to prevent segregation of the material. STRUCTURAL used a form and pump technique to pressurize the formwork as the concrete was pushed-up the wall.

The Design Build team worked together to reinforce concrete and to successfully rebuild and restore a historical Louisiana landmark. Each of the methods used in the rehabilitation were carefully chosen to meet the idiosyncrasies of the project and carried out in a safe and timely manner.