Multifamily/Mixed-Use – 50 Units or Less Archives | AIA Atlanta

The Ardyn Townhouse

The Ardyn Townhouse project re‐imagines a small, irregularly shaped corner lot in one of Atlanta’s oldest historic neighborhoods. The 10‐unit cluster is situated along one of the city’s major residential thoroughfares, capitalizing on the opportunity to maximize urban density where a single‐family dwelling once stood. The project brief was short, but clear; the developer client has a well‐established/branded aesthetic that was to be maintained without compromise. The caveat to this requirement was that the project needed to be both sensitive and responsive to the architectural language of the surrounding neighborhood, its homes wrought largely in the century-old Arts & Crafts style.

The design also seeks to investigate alternatives to the typical monolithic “block” that is ubiquitous in contemporary townhome construction. In an effort to better articulate the overall mass and breakdown its scale, the end units of the block are sliced and pulled away, creating new opportunities for circulation and access within the remaining interstitial space. These spaces create a distinct threshold between the public and private realms. The mass of the blocks is further carved away at the top floors to create private rooftop spaces for each urban unit, a reference to the “Fifth Façade” proselytized by Le Corbusier. Wood-clad, cantilevered living spaces are extruded at the corners of the blocks, a direct counterpoint to the stereotomic carving of the roof. These “pulled out” volumes also serve to maximize views from the interior while bathing the primary interior spaces in natural light.

1200 Ponce

1200 Ponce is a condominium development located at the intersection of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Briarcliff Road in Atlanta’s Druid Hills neighborhood. The original complex consisted of a Church, School, and Chapel Building along with a Gymnasium Building that was attached to a former Carriage House. To justify the purchase price of this key urban parcel, the developer challenged the design team to get as much residential density as possible on the site. The overall program was to create a community of for sale homes that would provide a unique option for residents who want to live in this prime location.

The layout of the site and the design of the buildings had to respond to the specific requirements of the Druid Hills Landmark District. Existing surface parking and entry drives in the front setbacks were required to be removed and replaced with green space to restore the Olmstedian vision of large landscaped front yards and parkways along the Ponce De Leon corridor. Proposed new buildings were also required to be located beyond the front yard setbacks. The scale and look of each of these new buildings have been designed to be compatible with the character of existing historic buildings and homes in the Druid Hills neighborhood.
The overall vision is to create a 51-unit residential complex with generous individual unit sizes ranging from 1,500 to 3,200 SF and an overall density of 12 units per acre. The development purposely retained the church and school building, which have been converted into 23 creative units that incorporate the special features of each of the existing buildings. The Church sanctuary was divided into 6 three story units, and an additional unit that occupies the former choir balcony. A third floor was added to the existing two-story School building, and 12 units total were in this structure organized along the original double loaded corridor. A new two-story addition containing 4 units sensitively connected to the School Building near the corner of Ponce de Leon and Briarcliff.

To achieve the maximum density, three additional new buildings will eventually be constructed on the site. Building B will contain 4 units and is located along Ponce de Leon between the Church and the adjacent “Green Gables” property. This building matches the scale and look of the historic houses located throughout Druid Hills. Building C will house 15 units over parking and is located on the site of the former gymnasium. Building D will have 9 units with below grade parking and is located along Briarcliff Road. The inspiration for the design of this building was the 1920’s walk-up apartment buildings located further north along Briarcliff Road. The site provides for 102 parking spaces to achieve an overall ratio of 2 spaces per unit.

The completed project will result in the respectful reuse of these important neighborhood buildings along with the addition of 3 appropriate new structures that will provide for a variety of unique housing alternatives in the highly sought after Historic Druid Hills community.