American youth exist in a confused developmental space between adult maturity and childhood innocence. Yet, adolescents hold critical roles as the future leaders of our evolving society. Regrettably, teenage populations are often discounted as naïve and inconsequential, frequently overlooked by the urban and built environments.
In New Orleans, 32 percent of teenagers live impoverished while another 20 percent are unemployed and not enrolled in school. These opportunity youth populations are often exposed to hazardous environments surrounded by drugs and violence.
Flexible architecture designed specifically for adolescents encourages constructive behavior and social interaction. This creates a safe environment for exploration of interests. By reinterpreting historic New Orleans typologies and fabricating a newly vibrant and adaptable environment, Juliana Seymour transforms an underutilized parking lot into an opportunistic youth haven.
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