Architects chosen for downtown Water Campus

Rendering provided to The Advocate -- A 30-acre 'Water Campus' is planned near downtown Baton Rouge at the site of the old municipal dock that will become a center for coastal education and research. Work on the first buildings in the $45 million development is set to begin later this year. Show caption
Rendering provided to The Advocate -- A 30-acre 'Water Campus' is planned near downtown Baton Rouge at the site of the old municipal dock that will become a center for coastal education and research. Work on the first buildings in the $45 million development is set to begin later this year.

Coleman Partners in Baton Rouge and global architecture firm Perkins+Will have been chosen to design the first building on the new Water Campus between downtown and LSU.

The firms were among four finalists for the project.

The 45,000-square-foot, $20 million building will be headquarters for the Water Institute of the Gulf, and a research and interpretive center.

The building site is the historical Baton Rouge City Dock, completed in 1926. The building will consist of an interpretive gallery, exhibit areas, offices, research labs, and meeting and conference facilities.

Construction of the Water Institute of the Gulf is set to begin later this year and the building is expected to open in 2016.

This is the first of three buildings in the Water Campus that are to begin construction later this year.

The other properties are the $20 million headquarters for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the River Modeling Center, which will have a small-scale model of the Mississippi River.

The two other buildings also are set to open in 2016.

Other local projects by the Coleman Partners/Perkins+Will team include renovation and additions to Patrick Taylor Hall for LSU’s College of Engineering. Coleman Partners has done other projects in Baton Rouge, including work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is creating the master plan for the Water Campus .

Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the foundation’s real estate arm, will develop and manage the property.

The Water Campus will have 1.5 million square feet of space on the 33-acre site once it is fully built out and private firms set up shop so they can be close to the CPRA and the Water Institute of the Gulf.

Advocate business writer Ted Griggs contributed to this report.