HomeOffice DesignSecond Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

EskewDumezRipple reveals the newly renovated office space for Second Harvest in New Orleans, one of the region’s largest food banks

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple
Second Harvest Office

Project: Second Harvest Office
Architecture and Interiors: EskewDumezRipple
Team: Mark Ripple, Principal-in-Charge; Jose Alvarez, Project Manager;
Kim Nguyen, Project Architect; Mark Thorburn, Project Architect; Kristin Henry, Interior Designer; Jill Traylor, Director of Interiors; Tracy Lea, Specifications
Jeannine Ford, Construction Administration
Contractor: Donahue Favret
Structural Engineer: Schrenk, Endom & Flanagan, LLC
MEP Engineer: Moses Engineers, Inc.
Geotechnical Engineer: Eustis Engineering Services, LLC
Landscape: Spackman Mossop Michaels
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 27,000 SF
Completed: 2023
Photo Credits: Michael Mantese
Courtesy of EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest is one of the region’s largest food banks, carrying out a mission to end hunger by providing food access, advocacy, education, and disaster response. The organization provides food and support to 700+ community partners and programs across 23 parishes, and their staff and volunteers distribute the equivalent of more than 32 million meals to 210,000+ people a year.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Following the recognition that their operation had grown in size and stature over the years, and after touring several similar facilities around the nation, stakeholders set about renovating their workplace to be a physical manifestation of their very public mission in the community.

The renovation, executed while the project was occupied, was a particularly complex one—the design team frequently likened it to building a ship in a bottle. The project involved the painstaking process of taking former warehouse space and converting it to office use.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Given their active role in the community, the design team took inspiration from the organization’s work itself, but also the colors and qualities of food—hues largely composed of green with pops of yellow and purple.

Today, the 27,000-square-foot space features a new entry lobby, a warm, welcoming space for visitors, a board room, administrative and staff offices, a large conference room for training, and several communal spaces for employee congregation and socialization.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple The lobby space features an array of comfortable, colorful furniture, for casual socialization and recreation.

The lobby also offered an opportunity for integrated art incorporating the history of the organization itself. A far wall showcases an image dating back to the original days of the organization’s founding and features several cherished leaders integral to their story.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

The second floor of the building, utilizing the double-height lounge of what was previously warehouse space, houses administrative and employee offices.

The space represents one of the many aforementioned “ship in a bottle” design constraints the challenges of building within an occupied warehouse.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

The design team chose to expose and celebrate the industrial backdrop, leaving structural systems open, but painting them green.

A board room flanks the lobby, meant to be seen as visitors enter the project.

The board room also presented an opportunity to integrate artwork, donated to the organization from several community partners (in this case a stained glass piece lit from within) and a separate donor wall honoring the project’s benefactors (a large donation coming from the Benson family of New Orleans).

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

The area formerly utilized as the primary entrance is now a quiet recreation spot for employees to relax and socialize, as well as a working vegetable and fruit garden—an opportunity to practice what they preach when it comes to sustainable food.

The entry sequence simultaneously served as a proud moment to share the names of its many benefactors, via a custom, hand-crafted donor wall.

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

Second Harvest Office / EskewDumezRipple

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