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Victor F. "Trey" Trahan III, FAIA

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Victor F. "Trey" Trahan III, FAIA
File:Trey Trahan.jpgTrey_Trahan.jpg Trey_Trahan.jpg
Born (1960-07-13) July 13, 1960 (age 64)
Crowley, Louisiana
🏳️ NationalityAmerican
🎓 Alma materLouisiana State University (B.Arch., 1983)
💼 Occupation
🏅 AwardsAIA College of Fellows,

Victor F. "Trey" Trahan III, FAIA (born July 13, 1960) is an American architect and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Trahan is the founder and CEO of Trahan Architects, a New Orleans-based architecture firm with an additional studio in New York.

In 2019, Trahan Architects was ranked the #1 design firm in the U.S. for 2019, by Architect 50, a national ranking of architecture firms published by Architect Magazine, the official magazine of the AIA.[1] The firm’s work is additionally recognized for being historically grounded and innovative in its use of sustainable materials.[2]

Trahan's firm built a portfolio of award-winning projects across a wide range of building types and scales, including cultural, performing arts, ecological, master planning, academic, and mixed-use projects. The firm has produced work throughout the U.S. and internationally on four continents.[3] Notable projects include the Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and The Mercedes-Benz Superdome Capital Improvements in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Trahan was selected as the lead architect for the renovation of the two million square feet Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The project, funded in part by FEMA,[4] was completed under budget and in less than a year, receiving engineering awards for its custom solutions. Trahan was also one of thirteen architects selected by actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation to design a new sustainable community in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.[5]

From 2015 to 2017, Trahan served as a member of the International Council of the Van Allen Institute in New York, an organization that explores how design can transform cities and landscapes to improve people’s lives.[6] He is currently a board member of The Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington D.C., a non-profit that educates and engages the public in our shared historical landscapes.[7]

Trahan resides in New Orleans, Louisiana and in Patagonia, Chile, where in 2014 he purchased, and is in the process of returning to its pristine state, a property in the Corcovado National Park, one of the eleven national parks established by North Face founder Douglas Tompkins.[8] The property will also serve as a laboratory for gathering climate data and developing new approaches to conservation.[9]

Early life and career[edit]

Trahan grew up in the small town of Crowley, Louisiana, and earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.[10] Trahan cites Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn as important influences. He founded Trahan Architects in 1992 in Baton Rouge. In 2013, he relocated the firm to New Orleans.[11] He opened the Chicago office in 2012 and in 2014, the New York office opened.

Notable career achievements[edit]

Honors and awards

Trahan Architects has won over 100 national, regional, and local awards along with several international design competitions, including four National AIA Awards, in less than 25 years. In 2005, Trahan received the Architecture Review Emerging Architecture Award in London[12] and in 2006 he was elected to AIA College of Fellows.[13] In 2007, he was named one of The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices.[14] His alma mater, Louisiana State University, inducted him into its Hall of Distinction in 2010.[15]

The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre has received numerous awards, including the AIA Innovation[16] and Architect Magazine R+D awards for Performative Millwork (2019).[17]

The Arrival Garden and Moody Pavilions at the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria in Austin, Texas, was honored with AIA Louisiana’s Members’ Choice and Merit Awards (2019).

The Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches, completed in 2013, has attracted visitors from around the world and has received the National AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture (2015),[18] International Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum (2014),[19] Architect magazine’s 2013 Annual Design Review Honor,[20] Interior Design magazine’s 2013 Best of the Year Award for Civic,[21] and 2013 Architecture Project of the Year by Azure magazine.[22]


Trahan taught semester-long studios with a focus on ecology at MIT School of Architecture and Planning (Spring 2013) and University of Southern California Architecture (Fall 2015). He was a visiting lecturer at the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University,[23] The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning,[24] Tulane University School of Architecture, Texas Tech University College of Architecture, Duke University, Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Kennesaw State University College of Architecture and Construction Management, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture. The firm frequently hosts visiting students as part of its commitment to fostering collaboration.

Notable Works[edit]

Current Projects

Trahan Architects has been chosen as the architectural force behind the $450 million renovation of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. In November 2019, phase one plans were approved by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District,[25] commonly known as the Superdome Commission, and work began January 2020.[26]


  • Tulane Riverfront Campus, New Orleans, LA (2013)
  • Baton Rouge International School, Baton Rouge, LA (2012)
  • Louisiana State University Academic Center, Baton Rouge, LA (2002)


Convention Center

  • New Orleans Convention & Visitors Center Renovation, New Orleans, LA (ongoing)
  • Laredo Convention Center, Laredo, TX (ongoing)
  • Expo Georgia Convention Center & Master Plan, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (ongoing)
  • Owensboro-Daviess County Convention Center, Owensboro, KY (2014)
  • Acadia Parish Conference Center, Crowley, LA (2012)


  • Aurora Event Center, Aurora, NY (ongoing)
  • The Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria – Arrival Garden and Moody Pavilions, Austin, TX (2019)
  • Magnolia Mound Turner Family Visitors Center, Baton Rouge, LA (2018)
  • The Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, Natchitoches, LA (2013)
  • River Center Library, Baton Rouge, LA (2010)


  • Fundo Tic Toc, Corcovado State Park, Chile (ongoing)


  • College Station Boutique Hotel, College Station, TX (design completed 2016)
  • The Jung Hotel Renovation, New Orleans, LA (design completed 2016)
  • Acadia Parish Conference Center, Crowley, LA (2012)

Master Planning


  • Julia Street Mixed Use Development, New Orleans, LA (expected 2024)
  • New England Mixed-Use Development, New England, U.S. (ongoing)
  • Zhengzhou Mixed-Use Development, Zhengzhou, China (2012)
  • Baton Rouge Municipal Dock, Baton Rouge, LA (2011)

Performing Arts

  • Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA (2019)
  • The Crest, Baton Rouge, LA (2013)
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago, IL (design completed 2011)


  • Loyola University New Orleans Chapel, New Orleans, LA (ongoing)
  • Aurora Event Center, Aurora, NY (ongoing)
  • First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, CO (2013)
  • Holy Rosary, St. Amant, LA (2004)
  • St. Jean Vianney, Baton Rouge, LA (1999)[27]


  • Magazine Street Residence, New Orleans, LA (ongoing)
  • 111 North, Baton Rouge, LA (ongoing)
  • Zhengzhou Mixed-Use Development, Zhengzhou, China (2012)


  • Ochsner Center for Innovation, New Orleans, LA (expected completion 2021)
  • Louisiana State University J. Bennett Johnston, Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, Baton Rouge, LA (1992)


  1. Evitts Dickinson, Elizabeth (2019-11-08). "2019 Architect 50: Top 50 Firms in Design". Architect. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  2. Curkin, Charles. "Masters of the Universal" (January/February 2020). Elle Decor.
  3. Gibson Schecter, Jennifer. "Business People of the Year". Biz New Orleans (January 2020). Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  4. "FEMA Provides $6.3 Million For Superdome Repairs". FEMA. 2006-01-30. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. MacCash, Doug (2009-07-25). "Brad Pitt's 'Make it Right' houses in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward to include two-family models". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  6. "International Council 2015: Chicago". Van Allen Institute. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. "Board". The Cultural Landscapes Foundation. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  8. Bonnefoy, Pascale (2018-02-18). "With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System is Born". New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  9. "Work". Trahan Architects. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  10. "Different By Design – The Kudos and Controversies of Architect Trey Trahan". 225 Magazine. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  11. Roedel, Jeff (2012-08-13). "Trahan Architects moving headquarters to N.O." Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  12. Finch, Paul (2016-08-01). "AR_EA 2005 Prize winner – Church Complex in Louisiana, USA by Trahan Architects". The Architectural Review. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  13. "The AIA Elevates 82 Members to The College of Fellows". R Miller Architecture. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  14. "Emerging Voices 2007". The Architectural League of New York. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  15. "LSU Hall of Distinction Inductees". LSU Alumni Association. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  16. "2019 Innovation Awards". AIA. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  17. Risen, Clay (2019-07-08). "Award: Performative Millwork at Alliance Theatre, Realized Through Handcraft and Augmented Reality". Architect. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  18. Giermann, Holly (2015-01-15). "2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture". ArchDaily. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  19. "The 2014 International Architecture Awards". The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  20. "Architect Annual Design Review 2013". Architect. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  21. Kellogg, Craig (2013-12-24). "2013 BOY Winner: Civic". Interior Design. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  22. Osborne, Catherine (2013-12-17). "2013 in Review: Top 10 Architecture Projects". Azure. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  23. Trahan, Trey. "Defining Local". Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture Fall 2014 Lecture Series. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  24. "The Nest". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  25. McAuley, Anthony (14 November 2019). "$450M Superdome renovation renderings unveiled after construction plans approved". The Advocate Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  26. Adelson, Jeff (14 January 2020). "National championship was likely the last time you walked some of those Superdome ramps". The Advocate Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  27. "Home". St. Jean Vianney. Retrieved 12 February 2020.

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