$180 Million Design Contract Awarded for Convention Center Interior Renovation


The New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority has chosen NANO LLC to design interior renovations that are part of an ongoing $557 million overhaul of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The $180 million project will replace large portions of the facility’s pre-operating space with a new design and amenities, a new center main entrance and a grand ballroom on the newly created third level overlooking the Mississippi River, according to a press release. NANO will also add design curves into the facility to create a larger outdoor plaza, he said.

The New Orleans-based architecture firm plans to “modernize interior and exterior spaces while incorporating the New Orleans experience into the installation through art, lighting, textures, rhythms , movement and visitor interactions,” the statement read. The company’s designs “reflect the indelible essence of New Orleans without relying on overused symbolism,” he said.

Founded in 2001 by Terri and Ian Dreyer, NANO won a $7 million contract in 2021 for the Centre’s first phase of interior renovations.

“As a woman-owned business and a certified state and local disadvantaged commercial enterprise, being part of this transformational project has been a game-changer for our business,” said Terri Hogan Dreyer, managing partner of NANO Architecture, in the press release.

Convention Center officials began circulating renderings of planned upgrades for the 1.1 million square foot facility earlier this year. They include a new 10,000 square foot meeting room near the Julia Street side of the building with downtown views and a glass-enclosed multipurpose ballroom on the third floor of the facility between the two bridges of Crescent City Connection. overlooking the river.

Indiana-based AECOM Hunt and Metairie-based Broadmoor are the construction managers.

The center was built in 1984 and expanded in 1991 and 1999. Its five-year capital improvement plan was launched in 2018 and resulted in upgrades to its technology infrastructure, restrooms, Convention Center Boulevard and a new 7.5 acre pedestrian park.

In 2021, $5 million was spent on technology infrastructure, including 3 million square feet of WiFi upgrades. New charging stations have been installed along the exhibition hall. Other finishes included the overhaul of floor electrical boxes and the painting and refurbishing of 35 toilet sets.


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