2017 Archives | AIA Atlanta

Lizzie Chapel Flats

Lizzie Chapel Flats, a circa-1930 building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973 and was recognized as a contributing building within the locally designated Inman Park Historic District in 2002. Formerly a Baptist church, there were, previously, multiple failed reuse attempts. The successful design is one that preserved the historic essence of the building and responded to the community’s concerns to maintain limited impact on the character of the neighborhood. The well-received design maintained the appeal of Inman Park by restoring the original historic facades, preserving the Euclid Avenue entrance beneath the original columns, and leaving the church sign in place.

The church’s two stories are now comprised of three stories and 6 residential flats. Each flat is unique due to its location in the church and the historical details that were restored. The stained glass, along with the steeple, were ornamental additions made in the 1970s-1980s and therefore were removed. The tall windows were returned to their original design with window profiles that matched existing. The windows flood the open, loft-like units with natural light.

The exterior restoration and interior renovation had to be addressed in an in-depth yet restrained manner. The challenge was to design an evolved space that wasn’t overdone. Over-designing the building would have lost character of the place – but, meticulous detailing and careful collaboration with the engineers was required to achieve 17,000 square feet of residential space.

A Traditional Country Home

This traditional country home was inspired by the works of McKim, Mead and White and Sir Edwin Lutyens, with a palette of materials suggesting a modern-American aesthetic. Classical details, such as the paired entry columns with stone capitals and painted brick shafts, are tempered by more contemporary elements. The grandly-scaled field room, for example, with clean lines punctuated only by floor to ceiling windows, is a study of proportion and restraint.

The core was designed for social use, with a gracious entry gallery leading into a grand dining room. From here, the home extends outward to more intimate spaces. In the western wing, the sitting room and field room provide views across the surrounding meadows and farmland. The opposite side of the home includes rooms designed for daily use; a family kitchen and casual dining area supported by a commercial-grade chef’s kitchen and pantry.

Upstairs is the master suite, complete with a dressing room, sitting room, his/her offices, and a private rooftop terrace. The opposite wing contains multiple guest suites. The lower level houses a viewing room, wine cellar, game room, gym, and sauna.

Adjacent to the home’s public arrival court, a porte-cochère leads to a private auto court and carriage house. Hidden just beyond, an outdoor pool and spa are cradled between lush landscaping, a shade trellis, and an open-air pool house. A sport court is cleverly concealed behind a landscape screen.

Page Woodson School

The adaptive reuse of Page Woodson School into affordable apartments marks a vibrant cultural rebirth in Oklahoma City. This historic African American high school is an outstanding example of a Classical Revival red brick school building. Part of a larger plan to preserve black history while re-energizing an urban milieu, this project utilized LIHTC funding and historic tax credits to create a 100% affordable development.

The original building was constructed in 1910; additions followed in 1919, 1934 and 1948. In 1934 it transitioned from an all-white elementary school to the already well-established Frederick Douglass, the city’s only African American high school and a gathering place for the African American community in OKC. Vacant for 20 years, the building attracted trespassers who set multiple fires. It was in an advanced state of decay when purchased in 2013.

Conceptually, the project addresses the demand for affordable housing while preserving, restoring and adapting a National Register property. Extensive community outreach helped determine the best path for this treasured community resource. An additional story was added inside the gymnasium to optimize living space.

The alma mater of author Ralph Ellison, the transformed school still bears Frederick Douglass’ name but now accommodates 65 apartments and a renovated 700-seat auditorium for community arts and performance groups. The adaptation capitalizes on the building’s art deco flourishes, limestone accents and school themes, with most original blackboards preserved in place. A portion of the apartments are scaled as lofts with soaring ceilings, and all living spaces feature abundant daylight.

Broadstone Midtown

Broadstone Midtown is located on the corner of Juniper Street and 6th Street in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood. Its 218 luxury apartments are within walking distance to a large job base, Piedmont Park, restaurants and bars, public transit, The Fox Theater, and several churches. One—or two-bedroom apartments are available with a variety of floor layouts. Live/work units are incorporated at the street level to help connect the project to the city and bring activity to the sidewalks.

Residential amenities include a fitness center, a large bike storage and repair facility, a dog grooming room, a fenced dog park, a club room, and several terraces overlooking Midtown. Patterns were painted over the stucco exterior at several locations to provide a glimpse of the building’s eclectic interiors and connect the building to Midtown’s vibrant community and public art displays.

Brenner House

Designed for a retired professional couple, now an artist and a motorbike enthusiast, the Brenner House sits on a 3-acre property near Newnan, Georgia, 40 minutes south of downtown Atlanta. The wooded site is adjacent to a water reservoir with development restrictions protecting the surrounding watershed. The gently sloping terrain, the reservoir to the south and access from the north, offer ideal conditions for private outdoor entertainment space and panoramic views of the lake.

The design responds to the site and program by placing 4 volumes around a central entry that links the public approach and views to the lake: car and bike garages to the north; guest and living spaces to the south. (Diagram 1). Wrapping the volumes with solid walls and service areas creates 2 L-shaped forms that orient the spaces to the site and define the see-through entry. (Diagram 2). The second floor’s master bedroom and office are contained in a 3rd L-shaped enclosure that sits atop the lower floor enclosures and spans the central entry. An open, cantilevered stair extends the entry to the upper floor and metal roof “hats” define the ground floor volumes from above. (Diagram 3).

Inchyra House

The design of the Inchyra House represents a return to family roots for the owners, one of whom grew up near the beautiful north Georgia property.

Their interest in a sustainable lifestyle, organic gardening, viticulture, aquaculture and sustainable land use completely inform the design solution. The open site was formerly agricultural land, the context is rural and primarily farmland.

The master plan of the 10-acre site includes locations of the main house, guest house, greenhouse, a pond for viticulture, orchards, crops, gardens, a labyrinth, privacy screenings of native plants, paths and gravel roads linking the various site functions. Southern views toward the mountains of the Chattahoochee National Forest were paramount in location and design of the house.

The one-room-wide shotgun design of the house combines southern vernacular concepts of cross ventilation and livability. A traditional dogtrot transects the middle of the house as main entry on one side and open patio living on the other. The open east wing of the house comprises the day-to-day living areas while the west wing houses guest, laundry, shop, gym and mud room functions.

The house is a study in energy conservation, economy of materials and minimalist design. The east/west linear orientation is ideal for the southern climate. Extensive eaves shelter south facing glazing in summer and allow winter sun to warm the floors. North facing walls of insulated concrete masonry units utilize thermal mass to retain investments in heating and cooling and provide a sound and privacy barrier toward the adjacent highway.

Mid-century Remix

The current owners do not know how a vaguely Eichler mid-century home came to be constructed in Virginia Highland. However, having lived in California, they recognized the form immediately and purchased the house.

Our assignment: on a tight $220,000 budget reorganize the chopped plan, expand the kitchen and dining area into the unusable carport, enhance the interior and exterior and renovate the basement.

In respect to the origins of the existing house we emphasized horizontality, added bands of glass, removed odd brackets, added a 5’-wide pivot door at the entry, replaced the siding and constructed a low horizontal wall to establish a public/private boundary. Parking for the house shifts from the inaccessible carport to an apron linked to the entry with concrete pavers.

The house as described by Residential Design magazine: “Nestled in the Virginia Highlands, one of Atlanta’s toniest neighborhoods, is a diminutive Mid-Century house recently resuscitated with a very light hand. The modesty of the intervention is the first thing one notices upon touring the house. The second notable aspect is that it exists at all amid the pseudo-Tudors, period bungalows, and new builder-spec foursquares that characterize the pricey in-town location.