The Guardians Institute is a center to preserve and promote the cultural and artistic traditions of The Guardians of the Flame group of Mardi Gras Indians. The project responds to the community's desire to pass on cultural traditions to young Guardians of the Flame as well as the need for youth outreach programs in the 9th ward. The Guardians Institute also provides space for children's literacy programs and community gatherings.
Achieved through a partnership with Tulane City Center, The Guardians Institute is sensitive to the culture of its users. Mardi Gras Indians are known for their performance and elaborate dress. The building's deep front porch is conceived as an outdoor performance space. The proportions of the space take into consideration those of a fully masked chief, which can reach heights of over eight feet. When the performance is taken to the streets, the over-sized stairs double as spectator seating.