The New Orleans Jazz Market was created specifically for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). Its Artistic Director wanted a building that served not only as a performance space for NOJO and other jazz artists but also as an educational space for the community. The project is an anchor for the revitalization of a historically African-American neighborhood.

Architect Kronberg Wall transformed a derelict commercial building, carving out a gracious lobby and a 350-seat auditorium with a mezzanine-level bar, dressing room, and education/warm-up room. The client set clear priorities for the building, focusing on excellent natural acoustics in the auditorium and taking a relaxed attitude towards isolation and background noise.

Kirkegaard used curving reflectors clad in salvaged wood, along with a variety of sound absorbing materials, to create a warm, clear performance space that is loud and exciting but free of harshness. Noise from traffic and the rooftop air handling units are appropriately isolated without diverting funds from the client’s priorities. Careful zoning of the HVAC provides extra quiet cooling for occasional recording sessions. A high-quality audio system allows amplification of vocals and subtle enhancement of the piano and bass while making the venue more attractive for rental use.

To keep the building active throughout the day, the lobby is designed to function as a social space, a jazz archive, an informal performance space, and a bar. Sliding panels allow the free flow of sound and audience from the auditorium to the lobby. ors throughout the day.