2016 Archives | AIA Atlanta

Seventh Midtown

Seventh Midtown is a mixed-use, boutique high-rise occupying a prominent corner along Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. The building includes luxury residential units over retail space, including a signature Starbucks Reserve.

The 9-level development includes 20 condominiums in approximately 48,000 square feet of residential space. The typical residential floor accommodates three different units, with two unique penthouse units on the top four floors. The penthouse units feature large balconies—complete with fireplaces—overlooking the lively intersection of 7th and Peachtree. Project features include gracious lobby areas and private outdoor living rooms.

Walkway connectors to the adjacent, existing Viewpoint condo high-rise provide access to shared dweller amenities and parking. In addition, the architect redesigned the Viewpoint building’s retail facades stretching all the way to 6th Street, and that provided a valuable opportunity to architecturally tie the streetscape together along the entire city block.

The design objective was to provide a luxury residential building appropriate for upscale, somewhat older dwellers in Midtown Atlanta. The design strategy incorporates a darker, richer palette of materials than surrounding residential high-rises (typically cladded with a simple window wall expression). The use of punched windows and rusticated brick provided a textural warmth and sense of scale that has proved more intimate and inviting.

Brooklyn Riverside

The Brooklyn Riverside is comprised of seven buildings that create a total of 310 Residential Apartment Units with 77 private tuck under garages. Each building is a Type VA with an NFPA 13R sprinkler system allowing the four levels. The project consists of platform framed wood stud walls with prefabricated wood floor and roof trusses. The Brooklyn maxes out the density allowed on the site, bringing more people closer to the city center. The layout of the seven buildings on the site provide the look of an urban city block, and having cantilevered balconies provided at each unit connects the residents to the neighborhood.

Using wood as the main building material lends the project to be very sustainable, and compared to using concrete, can reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. At a closer look inside, all exterior, corridor and demising walls have batt insulation or spray cellulose for their sound dampening abilities but also provide energy efficiency for each building and unit. The roof/ceiling assembly provided prefabricated wood trusses that have batt insulation at the bottom cord.

Casa DeSilva

The site for this single family residence is located immediately alongside the northern ridge of “El Cerro de Chipinque” in the Sierra Madre Oriental range in the state of Nuevo Leon in northeast Mexico. The house is configured to maximize views of the parallel ridgeline, as well as the dramatic peak, known as La Eme (“the M”), which terminates the eastern vista.

In the configuration of the residence, interior and exterior spaces are defined primarily by vertical planes of concrete, sliding in and out of the house to define interior and exterior zones for living, exploring the themes of Transparency and Penetration.

Secondary forms clad in thinly sliced black granite or contrasting white plaster express more solid and enclosed volumes. The texture and color of the granite alludes to the visible rock peaks of the mountain range looming above. More monochromatic cut stone was used for flooring. Completing the palette of materials, warmer tones of wood are used inside and out which contrast with the coolness of the granite and concrete.

While the wood and stone components are largely expressed as simple cubic forms, the plasticity inherent in concrete is expressed and articulated with more complexity — forming portals, generating negative space, and framing views. The composition is an honest expression of materials, selected to provide a range of textures, and configured to provide a hierarchy of scale.


Nantahala Mountain Retreat

The project is a modest 1,000-square-foot modern retreat in Scaly Mountain, North Carolina. The project site is a steeply sloping 6 acre ridge parcel that borders the Nantahala National Forest mountain ranges. The inspiration for the house is from Japanese bungalow houses. The planning goals were to embrace and engage the surrounding landscape, capitalizing on the views of ridge line, treetops, and rock face; and to expand the square footage by merging interior space with exterior decks.

The main living space is an open plan living/kitchen/dining area with reclaimed wide plank oak flooring ; the main focus is the window wall and view A glass panel door recesses into the wall opening the kitchen to the perch deck. A large reclaimed wood and iron table rests over the kitchen island and easily rolls out to the perch deck for outdoor dining. The wall opposing the view and ceilings are board and batten black stained pine that are inspired by the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban and balance well with the room’s neutral color palate and saturation of natural light. The finishes are extended in the bedrooms and bath and are furnished minimally with Japanese-inspired bedding.

The extreme slope of the site required thoughtful use of foundation and support posts, braced to stand up to high winds. Windows and doors also had to meet high wind load requirements required by the local codes. A collaboration with our strucural consultant resulted in an integrated solution for the double joist overhangs on the upper portions of the roof that would withstand the wind load.

An additional challenge was to create a high impact property with a limited budget. Less expensive black stained board and batten pine siding was used instead of sho sugi ban charred wood,to create the Japanese-inspired look. Meticulous roofing details were achieved using less expensive material, including corrugated metal roofing that was treated to rust quickly, and outriggers crafted from standard pressure treated lumber. The deck rails were created using pressure treated top cap, hog pen fencing, with flat bar steel supports combined in a modern and surprising way on both decks and the entrance bridge.

The rolling table over the island and multiple tree stump stools configured as a coffee table allow for flexible uses of furnishings throughout the space.

Logistical challenges included building in a remote location and managing the build from afar, understanding that work hours and practices differ in a small mountain town and are highly dependent on unpredictable weather patterns. Modern details are not customary in the region, and were often overlooked or flawed in execution, adding to the overall timeline and cost of the project. The project certainly provided an appreciation of small spaces, and how to maximize their use and efficiency. Perhaps the greatest lesson we learned is to thoroughly confer with contractor references ahead of time to get an up-front understanding of the subs that are planed to use. The client plans to continue to build further on the site.

Lapitz Residence

Built in 1885 by iron foundry owner William Kehoe, the townhouse at 130 Habersham Street, a contributing structure within the Savannah National Historic Landmark District and the Savannah Local Historic District, has experienced a transformation worthy of attention. Arguably one of the most photographed homes in downtown Savannah, with its infamous vines twining lavishly up the sides of its facades, quite literally bursting life from its structure onto the street, the Kehoe home has become seemingly unrecognizable at first glance through its metamorphosis back to its Italianate roots. It is because of the modern infamy of this historic structure that one might fail to understand decisions made in undertaking a drastic renovation to this iconic downtown home.

However, by acknowledging the greater value of this historic structure, and recognizing that the predominant focus of this home should not be centered on modern public sentiment, the owner was able to come to terms with a genuine restorative plan. Through vine removal, masonry, stucco, railing, and structural repairs, new decking at all balconies, replacement of damaged solid mahogany shutters, a new roof, a complete HVAC overhaul, and an all-encompassing painting to unify architectural elements, the client was able to evaluate the real needs of this building in order for it to be restored to structural integrity while preserving its historic character.

Yonson Residence

On 2.25 acres in the pastoral landscape of Milton, Georgia, the Yonson Residence is a true modern farmhouse – blending essential farmhouse style with a modern vision for a unique result that is a natural evolution of the setting’s horse farm heritage.

The 4,652-square-foot residence sits 250 feet from the road on a shared gravel drive surrounded by traditional four-rail fencing. Mixed exterior materials give the house definition and depth, lending the established feel of a structure built over time. Vertical cedar evokes a barn character in the garage, an important view from the main approach.

Wide porches and a U-shaped plan facilitate indoor/outdoor connections in spectacular style. A central courtyard opens freely into the home via a glass garage door, which opens the kitchen’s rear wall to the porch beyond. The interior is an eclectic yet intentional marriage of farmhouse, in reclaimed beams and white shiplap, with modern industrial, in concrete plaster and metal, for a compelling modern interpretation of farmhouse life.