If we are lucky, there are clients or places which capture our heart, and a unique bond is formed. This is what has happened for me with Saint Joesph Abbey and Seminary (SJAS). SJAS is located on a remote pastoral piece of property bordered by Bougue Falaya River in Covington, LA and is a pristine example of mid-century architecture. The original structures, church, dining halls and monks living quarters are early 20th century vintage. The balance of the campus was designed and constructed in the 1960’s by Lawrence and Saunders Architects who were trained in Mies van der Rohe's studio. Their design consisted of multiple buildings, organized around a grid and connected by converted walkways. It is a wonderful experience to walk around the courtyards and elevated buildings while being contained in the walkway's organization. The design is regional in it’s execution, pure in thought, and has not been compromised at all over the years.  
 
VergesRomes has worked in developing a campus master plan, started implementing renovations, and broke ground on the new Rouquette Library. The Rouquette Library, a joint project with QEA and will be a wonderful compliment to Lawrence’s work. 
 
The heart break: the day after ground breaking on the library, the site flooded. It was the first time for the site and essentially caught everyone unprepared. SJAS has since been closed and the damage to the multiple buildings and site elements has not been determined, but will be significant. What I do know is this institution will take this in stride with great dignity and a calm presence. While the place has captured my heart, it is the people that have cemented the bond. Those interested in helping can go to the web site here.  
 
The pictures below were taken the day of the flood.