Stepping into Bank Café for a drink, I felt like I'd stumbled upon a rare animal outside of its natural habitat. Bars this sleek are normally found off the streets of San Francisco or Amsterdam... The building, a former bank, has an air of decadence -- we drink where responsible people once saved for their retirement.

Todd A. Price
Pumping up the Volume
Gambit Weekly Cuisine
March 15, 2005




“The [original] house had its shortcomings, but I wasn’t about to undertake a major renovation with my busy schedule.” Then in 1997, while she was in Europe and a friend was house-sitting, the house burned to the ground. Spicer says that while it seemed like a tragedy at the time, she was fortunate to find a wonderful husband-and-wife team of architects, Michael Cajski and Van Tran of Volume Zero, who designed a new house with the exact same footprint, but with opened walls, raised ceilings and a large master bedroom suite.

“It’s all about simplicity and comfort,” Spicer says. “I tend to have a minimalist approach. I don’t need a lot of stuff.”

“I smile and say it’s my country cottage in the city,” she says. “It truly is my haven from my much-peopled world and busy restaurant kitchens. Here I rejuvenate my soul and body. This is home in the truest sense of the word.”

Bonnie Warren
Dining In
New Orleans Magazine
October 2002




“[Chef Susan Spicer’s lakeview home is] a snug yellow bungalow... inviting and unpretentious with handsome post-modern colors... an unfussy kitchen.”

Elizabeth Mullener
The Chef is in the House
The Times-Picayune Lagniappe Dining Guide
April 4, 2004




Allison is a whiz on the Web, so she didn’t waste a minute to search for an architect to help them with the [loft renovation] project. “When I found Michael Cajski and Van Tran’s website for their Volume Zero Design Studio, I liked the idea that they were a young married couple who had both graduated from Tulane University’s School of Architecture. It only took one meeting to know that we had found the right design team.”

When the architects came back with a plan, it was a bulls-eye with the first drawing.

“Now we have the kitchen of our dreams,” says Allison, a talented artist. “It’s my favorite place to paint since it’s filled with natural light from the large windows. It’s also a great place for entertaining, and there is plenty of counter space for my friends to help me cook.” Chris concurs: “There isn’t anything we would change. It’s perfect.”

Bonnie Warren
A Model Conversion
New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles Magazine
Fall 2002





Volume Zero, LLC or its partners have received the following awards and certifications.

• registrations to practice architecture in four states

• NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) Council Certification

• U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional. See Sustainability and Energy-Efficiency page.

• New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission Achievement Award for Restoration

• Small Business Administration 8(a) Program certification

• Minority Business Enterprise (MBE or DBE) certification by the City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Sewerage and Water Board, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, and the Housing Authority of New Orleans.