The diaspora of UL Lafayette’s School of Architecture & Design and Department of Visual Arts is finding common cause in railing against the proposed design for renovations to Fletcher Hall (see rendering below), the quirky, khaki-colored edifice at the corner of Lewis Street and Girard Park Drive at the edge of campus. The former students, many of them now professional architects, have even created a Facebook page to vent about plans, which were precipitated by the need to address years of water intrusion in the three-story building. Work on the project is slated to begin early next year.

The plan calls for resealing the exterior of the building. And according to a recent account in The Advocate:

The work, which includes the enclosure of open-air plazas on the second floor, will create about 10,000 square feet of additional usable space for classrooms, labs and offices, said Jim Ziler, of Ziler Architects, the firm that designed the renovations.

The building’s exterior stucco finish will be removed and replaced with pre-manufactured metal panels, similar to those used on Madison Hall, which houses the College of Engineering, Ziler said.

To complement the campus’ other buildings, red bricks will be featured in the renovation and will border the hall’s exterior, he added.

But alumni are incensed. Says one member of the Lafayette architecture community who asked not to be identified: “The building never looked like any of the other buildings on campus. Why should it? It was meant to stand out. It should be a design statement.”

The reactions from other alumni on the Save Fletcher Hall Facebook page have ranged from outraged to nonplussed to bitterly snarky.

“I am ashamed and horrified by this design. Start Over! Please!” writes Pierre Theriot, an architect at Holly & Smith Architects in Hammond.

“The next season of The Walking Dead should be shot at Fletcher if it goes through,” adds Max Nochez, a project designer in New Orleans.

Phanat Xanamane, who owns an eponymous design studio, offers a rallying cry: “Save the waffle slabs!!!”

Check out the Save Fletcher Hall page here. Read The Advocate story here

        The proposed renovations to Fletcher Hall by Ziler Architects have been met with opposition by many in the Lafayette architecture community.

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