The URBANbuild program was created to provide students with the opportunity to work collectively on the design, development and construction of affordable housing prototypes.

Project Dates

June 2005–June 2009


In the summer of 2005, a small group of Small Center students and faculty conceived of a design-build program to address the deteriorating neighborhoods of urban New Orleans. The URBANbuild program was created to provide students with the opportunity to work collectively on the design, development and construction of affordable housing prototypes. The goal was to provide struggling neighborhoods with some sense of progress and value.

However, in August of 2005 New Orleans was struck by a storm that was anticipated but never truly planned for in its response and infrastructure. The city was left 80% damaged, the population was immediately reduced by one third, and the occupants of the city’s most underserved areas struggled to return with limited community, economic or social foundation in place. Rebuilding became a critical task. Suddenly, URBANbuild was challenged to explicitly address the eminent threat of water and the changing social demographics of a city struggling to survive.

Small Center Engagement

Small Center helped to incubate the School of Architecture’s URBANbuild program through 5 different projects: Prototype 01, Prototype 02, Prototype 03, Prototype 04, and GreenBuild.

Partner Organization

URBANbuild is a design|build program in which teams of students take on the design and construction of prototypical structures for New Orleans’ neighborhoods. URBANbuild has partnered in the development of these homes with Make It Right, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc., and Harmony Neighborhood Development.


In 2010, URBANbuild became an independent organization from Small Center. URBANbuild offers Tulane School of Architecture students an intense, year-long dive into designing and constructing a full house in New Orleans. URBANbuild has evolved as a post-Katrina program that addresses and investigates pre-Katrina problems. It relies upon a comprehensive understanding of New Orleans as a city struggling to redefine itself. The program challenges designers to both respect and question the architectural history of New Orleans.


Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Byron Mouton (Program Director)
  • Sam Richards (Construction Co-Director)
  • Emilie Taylor Welty (Project Manager)
  • Coleman Coker (GreenBuild Design Lead)
  • Fritz Bader (GreenBuild Design Lead)

UB 01 Students

  • Jared Bowers
  • Ned Brown
  • Claire Cahan
  • Nick Crowley
  • Robert Deacon
  • David Demsey
  • Mark Enlow
  • Jason Heinze
  • Tyler Hutcherson
  • Matt Hux
  • Maggie Joyce
  • Nicole McGlinn
  • Andrea Patrick
  • Jonathon Reyes
  • Carlos Sanchez
  • Heather Skeehan
  • Emilie Taylor
  • Steve Thesman
  • Ben Wasserman
  • Seth Welty
  • Daniel Zangara

UB 02 Students

  • Emily Brudenell
  • Vincent Cangiamilla
  • Victoria Hernandez
  • Greg Hayslett
  • Emily Levings
  • Kristyn Cosgrove
  • Jordan Gargas
  • Tyler Hutcherson
  • Charles Lucia
  • Trevor Meeks
  • David Merlin
  • Craig Parker
  • Matt Shaver
  • Kristine Shull
  • Diana Steig
  • Francisco Tirado
  • Sam Vasquez
  • Ben Wasserman
  • Jesse Zryb

UB 03 Students

  • Christina Alvarado-Suarez
  • Adriana Camacho
  • Ian Daniels
  • Amarit Dulyapaibul
  • Nik Haak
  • Chris Halbrooks
  • Cassandra Howard
  • Kimberly Lewis
  • Caroline Lossack
  • Alex Mangimelli
  • Nicole Magnellia
  • Eric McClam
  • Scott Mucci
  • Casey Roccanova
  • Amanda Rosen
  • Carter Scott
  • Steve Smith
  • Lori Storm

UB 04 Students

  • Robert Baddour
  • Amanda Brendle
  • Ben Flatau
  • Monica Breziner
  • Nicholas Cecchi
  • Katie Champagne
  • Nick Chan
  • Chad Cramer
  • Susan N. Danielson
  • Shannon Farrell
  • Matt Fox
  • Kevin Garfield
  • Lauren Goetz
  • Royce Evan Gracey
  • Corey Green
  • Meaghan Hartney
  • Matthew Hostetler
  • Colm M. Kennedy
  • Joseph Keppel
  • Peter Kilgust
  • Nicolas Mallet
  • Lauren Martino
  • Suzanne Monaco
  • Emily Orgeron
  • JP Pacelli
  • Marian Prado
  • Marie Richard
  • Gregor Schuller
  • Kevin Tully
  • Karla Valdivia
  • Colin VanWingen
  • Bliss Young

GREENbuild Students

  • Tim Adams, Jr
  • Rebecca Bortolin
  • Rob Cogiandro
  • Nick Crowley
  • Jason Heinze
  • Mike Kazanzis
  • Sean Kirkland
  • Joseph Lai
  • Andrea Martin
  • Reade Nossoman
  • Adam Porter
  • Jonathan Reyes
  • Daren Sodowski
  • Ashley Sparks
  • David Siegel
  • Maggie Van Dusen
  • Jared Watson
  • Daniel Zangata


  • Scott Bernhard
  • Dan Etheridge

Special Thanks

  • Anthony Christiana Construction

Press and Awards

LEED Silver Certification

US Green Building Council

“URBANbuild I” Exhibition

Ogden Museum

URBANbuild Exhibit

Housing Solutions Summit

“URBANbuild II” Exhibition

Ogden Museum

URBANbuild.designBUILD studio work

Venice Biennale Exhibition

Project New Orleans

African-American Art Museum in the Treme

An Unsentimental Education

Residential Architect

URBANbuild: The Fourth Generation


"Architecture School"

Sundance Channel

Giving Shelter: Students Scramble to Design and Construct a New Orleans House

The New York Times

Rebuilding New Orleans, Post Katrina Style

New York Times

URBANbuild Students Bring Hope to New Orleans

Architectural Record

'Architecture School': Rebuilding New Orleans on Reality TV

New York The Sun

"Architecture School" Reality Show Premieres on Sundance


Tulane Nears Completion on Third New Orleans House

Architectural Record