2017 FAIA Members

The 2017 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elevated a prestigious class of members to its College of Fellows. The honor is awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession. Out of a total AIA membership of over 90,000, there are just over 3,400 distinguished with the honor of fellowship and honorary fellowship. The elevation to fellowship is conferred on architects with at least 10 years of membership in the AIA in one or more of several nomination categories, including promoting the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession;  advancing the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice; and coordinating the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations. 

Ace Torre, FAIA

L. Azeo Torre  


As President of Torre Design Consortium, Ltd.(TDCL), Ace Torre, a native New Orleanian,  is responsible for overall firm development and operations throughout the United States and Canada.

He is responsible for the design, production and quality control of planning, schematic design through construction phases of projects throughout the US and Canada from the firm’s 127 year old New Orleans office, on historic Magazine Street. TDCL is dedicated to interdisciplinary thinking in its approach to the design process.

With over 40 years of experience, he has been extensively involved with management of multi-disciplinary teams on countless large-scale projects throughout the United States and Europe. Award-winning projects in New Orleans include Jackson Square, Washington Artillery Park and French Market Complex, Canal Street, Audubon Zoo, Aquarium and Woldenberg Riverfront Park, City Park Festival Complex, City Bark and Golf Course, Jefferson Parish Forensic Center, as well as 45 zoos and aquaria throughout the USA, with one in China and Canada, Costa Smeralda resort in Sardegna, Italy.

Ace Torre is a recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture and has studied at Louisiana State University, American Academy in Rome and Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has held teaching positions at both Louisiana State University and Tulane University. He is a registered Architect in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and as a Landscape Architect in 16 states; as an Interior Designer in two states, and a certified Planner.

Ace Torre is a published author with Van Nostrand Reinhold, NYC, as well as having his drawings featured in other publications.

Regina and Ace Torre Scholarships have been awarded to LSU College of Art and Design students since they were established in 1990 in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Interior Design, and Art. Ace delivered the 1999 commencement speech to the LSU College of Art and Design (art, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design), was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from LSU in 2006, and was the first recipient of the Robert Reich Professorship, which is now awarded annually to professionals whose dedication is to share professional practice experiences with students, and promote interdisciplinary thinking.

Peter Trapolin, FAIA

Mr. Trapolin earned his Master of Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1977, with signi cant coursework at the University of Liverpool. As a young alumnus he worked brie y with two architects before founding Peter M. Trapolin & Associates in 1981. The rm grew steadily with a commensurate impact on the surrounding Warehouse District neighborhood. Mr. Trapolin added partner Paula M. Peer in 2009, spurring the Trapolin-Peer Architects rebranding efforts.

Throughout his career, Mr. Trapolin has served on numerous boards, appeared in dozens of publications, and won more awards for his historic preservation work than any other local architect. Still, his career can be summed up simply in three words: advocacy, impact, commitment.

Advocacy – Since the early 1980s, Mr. Trapolin has been one of the most vocal, active proponents for historic renovation and adaptive reuse. He recognized the threatening erosion of New Orleans’ historic architectural fabric and realized that without action, the city’s architectural heritage might be lost to future generations. Early in his career, he pushed business and government leaders to realize that historic tax credit funding would allow otherwise cost-prohibitive structural repair, shoring, and window replacement and enable proper building preservation. Mr. Trapolin helped pioneer the use of historic tax credit funding, guiding and educating developers and navigating the design approval process. He also served as a board member of the Preservation Resource Center from 1982-1990; stayed active with the organization, and rejoined the board in 2011. Throughout his career he zealously advocated for revitalization of individual buildings, whole blocks, and entire neighborhoods.

Impact – Over more than 35 years of practice, Mr. Trapolin’s active involvement with boards and commissions has signi cantly impacted New Orleans architecture. As a first year design professor at Tulane

University School of Architecture and guest lecturer at the University of New Orleans, he has shared deep local knowledge with students from across the country and the globe. His work has taken him to Ireland, Mexico, and China. Furthermore, his work in this city, frequently visited and studied by domestic and international architects and government leaders, has been an example for preservationist, planners, legislators, and designers around the world. During his time in the neighborhood, Trapolin and his rm guided the Warehouse District through economic changes and the decline of manufacturing, adapting its buildings to the emerging service economy and spurring a 1000% increase in rentable units over three decades. Mr. Trapolin was instrumental in post-Hurricane Katrina City Planning efforts, contributing to the Uni ed New Orleans Plan and serving as a reviewer for the City’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. His devotion to historical accuracy in materials and assembly methods uniquely prepares him to safeguard the health of many buildings while ensuring their continued use through renovation and adaptation.

Commitment – Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Mr. Trapolin’s life and work is his commitment to his neighborhood and his city. In 1980, Trapolin became a founding board member of Operation Comeback, which targeted the revitalization of the historic Lower Garden District neighborhood. His home and of ce, only three blocks apart, sit in the heart of the Warehouse District that he has tirelessly championed. His rehabilitated 1835 rowhouse home and renovated 1846 broom factory office exemplify the vision and quality of his work. Long before zoning required it, Mr. Trapolin advocated mixed-use and walkable planning to activate the street and enliven the neighborhood at large. While skilled in the language of contemporary design, Mr. Trapolin seeks the challenge of integrating modern building systems with historic construction to ensure the continued and vibrant life of historic buildings.

Wayne Troyer, FAIA

Wayne Troyer artfully weaves distinctive new construction and inventive adaptive reuse projects into the urban fabric. His commitment to design, mentorship, and civic engagement has made him a leader in revitalizing historic and post-industrial environments.

As founding partner of the award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm studioWTA, Wayne Troyer is a recognized advocate for good design throughout the South, but he is best known for bringing his thoughtful, modern aesthetic to one of America’s oldest and most unique cities–New Orleans. Befitting a city known for its musical heritage, Wayne’s architecture is informed by his background in music performance that taught him to improvise within a familiar structure, harmoniously integrating the old with the new to create something that has a timeless emotional resonance.

Wayne built his practice on restoring the integrity of post-industrial buildings with contemporary interventions that celebrate the richness of New Orleans’s historic architecture, such as the adaptive reuse of a nineteenth century rice mill into a multifamily residential building. Wayne’s design embraces the original building’s manufacturing history, as well as its more recent past as a haven for graffiti artists, with minimal loft-style units that accentuate carefully preserved brick walls, timber beams, and spray-painted murals. Wayne’s projects often incorporate industrial artifacts to give each design a unique sense of place rooted in the building’s history. In his own office, a former box factory, which repurposes concrete machine mounts and the nearby Arthur Roger@434 gallery, where timber columns have been preserved as an entry feature. These projects, which have all helped attract a thriving community of creative professionals to once-industrial urban neighborhoods, illustrate how Wayne uses modern architecture to foster an appreciation for historic buildings. But his work can also be subtle, as with the restoration of the Emerald Street Residence, a 1952 home designed by Curtis & Davis that was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. In restoring the building, Wayne fulfilled the unrealized vision of his Modernist predecessors while updating the house to accommodate the social and technological realities of today. Outside of the dense, historic context of the city, Wayne uses expressive, modern forms to create new spaces. On the campus of Tulane University his design for a curving steel and glass coffee shop brings a sense of vitality to an underused breezeway beneath an imposing brutalist structure, and the angled form of his Wall Residential College wraps a quad to create new courtyards for student activity while reinforcing the urban quality of the campus. Wayne’s work on campuses extends to the classroom. He has taught at the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University, and his alma mater Tulane University, where he is a regular guest critic and has led a comprehensive studio requiring students to complete practical drawings detailing their designs. But architecture education doesn’t end with school. Throughout his career Wayne has been dedicated to mentoring young professionals and takes seriously his role in completing their professional training while encouraging them to develop their own voices. Under Wayne’s guidance, the many young designers in his office have contributed to some of the most distinct work in New Orleans, and have become valued collaborators and empowered members of the community. The importance of collaboration and community became clear in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and Wayne has been heavily involved in rebuilding New Orleans as both an architect and a community leader. His design for the Rebuild Center, which provides assistance to displaced families, uses natural materials and careful planning to bring a sense of warmth and humanity to a program that could otherwise be austere and isolating. Wayne brings this same sensitivity and optimism to his involvement with civic organizations like the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP), and Operation Comeback. His commitment to New Orleans and his appreciation for the city’s historic and industrial architecture is further reflected in his 10-year involvement with the New Orleans Architectural Review Committee, his service as Vice-President of Docomomo New Orleans, as well as his work with the city’s Preservation Resource Center and Historic District Landmarks Commission, where he strives to preserve the city’s architectural heritage as commissioner for the Central Business District. Beyond New Orleans, Wayne has been active in architectural discourse as a speaker at regional AIA conventions and as a member of the AIA awards jury in local and state chapters, including AIA St Louis and AIA Pennsylvania.

“We are honored to have these three members representing the AIA New Orleans Chapter! Congratulations to this year’s recipients, and thank you for your dedication to the profession.”

– Jesse Cannon, Architect, FAIA & Ronald B. Blitch, FAIA, FACHA