Space Travel: Short Film Captures the Spirit (and Curves) of Louisiana Museum

Sydney Franklin Sydney Franklin

Photos are the de facto medium for vicariously visiting architectural marvels, but video comes much closer to the real thing (at least until VR catches on).

Spirit of Space, a Chicago-based creative agency that uses film to promote awareness of design excellence, teamed up with Trahan Architects to capture the stunning design of the Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum, a recipient of the 2015 AIA Institute Honor Award.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum

For those who can’t take a trip to the Deep South, the short film below gives a holistic view of the museum’s finest architectural qualities: its coalescing curves, smooth materials and use of natural light.

The 28,000-square-foot facility, set in the historic town of Natchitoches, evokes a fluidity and calming presence to visitors who come to learn more about LSU’s storied football program or the region’s relationship to the Louisiana Purchase. Museum-goers can immerse themselves the sculptural interior made of crafted cast stone as they linger over the contrasting collections, one formerly housed in a university coliseum and the other in a 19th-century courthouse.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum

Adam Goss, co-founder of Spirit of Space, reached out to Trahan Architects for the exclusive look at the Louisiana State Museum. Goss and his team spent four days observing the structure and talking to visitors to glean a sense of their perspective before filming began. “People just want to touch and engage with the architecture,” he relates. “It’s more than just, ‘Let’s look at football.’ It’s: ‘Let’s learn about the architecture.'”

Goss said the employees of the museum and the surrounding local businesses love the new design as well. He said the natural form is a poetic experience and his job as a filmmaker was to take that poetry and move it beyond the walls.

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum

The curvaceous white stone walls of the facility create an undefined pathway that flows up through the galleries and concludes with a veranda overlooking the riverfront. Lead architect Trey Trahan said he did not want to force or imply a set direction of movement. That’s why there is no signage. “The intent of the design was to create an unpredictable path so people could choose how they meandered through the organic space and experience things unique to their decision-making.”

Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum

The building’s exterior is covered in pleated copper panels, which animate the shiny yet unassuming façade. This trait allows it to blend with the historic character of the surrounding streets.

“It’s so futuristic-looking in a sense but done so elegantly that it really does respect the context,” Goss said. “Most people take pictures of the actual architecture, not the exhibits… It’s great when a building can reach beyond art hanging on walls.”