Show off your love of New Orleans through Brandi Couvillion's jewelry. The designer's pieces are made from raw sheets of metal and are directly inspired by the city and its history, particularly its transitory landscapes. Earlier this year, Couvillion switched things up and teamed with The Historic New Orleans Collection to create a collection in honor of the museum's new exhibition center, the Seignouret-Brulator Building.
The building, located at 520 Royal Street, was built in 1816 and underwent a meticulous restoration. The museum reached out to Couvillion to discuss creating a dynamic line honoring the history's building and renovation. "My background in historic preservation made it a perfect fit, and I was eager to learn about the architectural archaeology they were undertaking," the designer told Adore.
Teresa Devlin, of THNOC's marketing department, says that although the museum acquired the property in 2006, the real work did not begin in earnest until 2013. "In total, it was about six years of intensive planning, archaeological exploration, and construction work before the new exhibition center opened in April 2019. The finished space, which includes the restoration of the historic Seignouret-Brulatour Building and its courtyard as well as the newly constructed Tricentennial Wing, beautifully combines old and new. It serves as a testament to THNOC’s commitment to both historic preservation and modern reinvention."
Couvillion and the museum had an existing relationship as The Shop at the Collection is one of the exclusive retailers exhibiting her work. Couvillion's design process involved scouring reports from the archival research and findings from the restoration. She was especially interested in the metamorphosis of the building. The property has seen many residents including a furniture store and WDSU's television studios. The buildings exterior architectural elements were also of interest to the designer, as well as the Aeolian pipe organ from 1925 (which is still intact today). The building now serves as a welcome center for museum visitors, offers a larger footprint for the Shop, and contains education galleries, where visitors can experience multisensory displays.
"The THNOC's thoughtful restoration provides a glimpse into architectural history which reflects the changing cultural, economic and social conditions of the French Quarter over 200 years," Couvillion says. "As with all of my work, this collection weaves the poetics of space with the fabric of time."
The Seignouret-Brulatour Collection can be found in The Shop at the Collection and ranges between $75 to $295.