Academy of the Sacred Heart

Generating renewed energy at one of the oldest schools in New Orleans.

The two campuses of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Rosary and Mater, function as one institution to educate young women from ages one through high school and are united by mission, vision, and tradition.

The Mater Campus welcomes its youngest learners to a campus tailored to the needs of children with the capacity to welcome the entire school body in the Nims Fine Arts Center. The renovations elevate the Mater campus’ visual presence while strengthening the brand identity between the two campuses.

Our team redesigned and rebranded the entrance to improve security, offer greater curb appeal, and connect the Nims Center to a forecourt.

Image of interactive display. The sign above the display says "Our girls change the world."

Analyzing the Academy's Brand Identity

Brand reinforcement was a driving concept behind the parti. Therefore, the project’s site, programs, thresholds, materials, and graphics were carefully considered while creating the vestibule and renovating the Nims Fine Arts Center.

Ultimately, we formed a brand that aligns with the school’s five pillars: community engagement, faith formation, operations, stewardship, and worship. Then, using the pillars as a guide, our team mapped the brand elements and where they might be most concentrated.

Design features connect the Rosary Campus’ identity to the Mater Campus while providing improved curb appeal, security, and opportunities for outdoor learning. A bronze statue of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne of the Sacred Heart sits stoically in the courtyard. Integrated lighting and seating encourage moments of solace and engagement around the figure. In addition, the courtyard utilizes a timeline to trace the Academy‚Äôs history and the entry vestibule visually connects to the courtyard, linking the brand with the century-old school’s pedigree.

Nims Fine Arts Center

The Nims Fine Arts Center renovation comprises modernized materials, furniture, fixtures, and an open floorplan that unites the landscapes on either side of the building. Sightlines between the two yards promote the venue’s multipurpose nature and produce a more significant connection between the two campus’ locations.

Through these new spaces, one can see the special reflection of our identity (who we are) as a Sacred Heart School...As I look out toward the plaza today, I am reminded that as a school community, we find ourselves learning, discovering, singing, dancing, and praying around the St. Rose Philippine statue...our girls can not wait to sit at her feet. Shara Hammet Lower School Division Head, Academy of the Sacred Heart
New Orleans, LA
8,000 sq.ft. Renovation
Academy of the Sacred Heart
Neil Alexander, Michael Palumbo, & Frank Aymami
Multistudio asterisk