Pyramid Resources Wellness Institute

Small Center worked with the Pyramid Resources Wellness Institute, a nonprofit that provides treatment and day services for persons in the greater New Orleans area who are homeless, have a mental illness diagnosis, or co-occurring substance use and mental illness. The Design/Build studio focused on transforming Pyramid’s outdoor space into a flexible and dignifying space for different kinds of programming for its clients.

Project Dates

August 2012–December 2012


A recent report found that one in six New Orleanians have mental health issues which impact their daily lives. With the state budget in crisis, many of the government services established to meet this great need have been cut altogether leaving gaps in mental health services. Pyramid Resources Wellness Institute is one of a patchwork of organizations attempting to address this gap in service by providing housing and a day center for New Orleanians with mental health issues.

Small Center Engagement

Small Center’s Design/Build studio team worked with the staff and residents of Pyramid Wellness to design their common outdoor space into an area that can adapt to the multiple needs of the residents – a space that can accommodate group meetings, outdoor dining, conflict resolution, and other activities and that provides a calming outdoor environment for the clients and staff of the facility.

Partner Organization

Pyramid Resources Wellness Institute (PRWI) provides treatment services for persons in the greater New Orleans area who are homeless, have mental illness diagnosis, or have co-occurring substance use and mental illness. PRWI provides housing assistance and intensive individualized support services under the direction of a treatment team consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical staff, nurses, support professionals, case managers, and others as needed.


The Design/Build intervention turned a narrow smoking alley into a multipurpose space used by the staff and clients of Pyramid Wellness. As an unexpected bonus the outdoor dining space and grilling area also double as a place to hold Pyramid’s fundraiser cookout during the annual Endymion Mardi Gras parade.


Pyramid Resources Wellness Institute

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Emilie Welty Taylor (Design Lead)
  • Abigail Feldman (Design Lead)
  • Sam Richards (Design Lead)


  • Steven Baker
  • Victoria Bryant
  • Jose Cotto
  • Katherine Delacey
  • Hunter Duplantier
  • Gage Edwards
  • Rena Foster
  • Emily Green
  • Charlotte Hutton
  • Baha Javadi
  • Whitney Jordan
  • Leslie Katz
  • Michael Kirschner
  • Sarah Knapp
  • Jacob McGregor
  • Kevin Michniok
  • Danielle Musselman
  • Alison Rodberg
  • Risa Schoenfeld
  • Guan Wang
  • Grant Whittaker
  • William Zink


  • Maurice Cox
  • Dan Etheridge
  • Dozenia Marshall

Special Thanks

  • Dash Lumber


  • Johnson Controls, Inc.