Atlanta: The Latest Architecture and News
New Orleans-based Trahan Architects have wrapped the interior of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in steam-bent oak. Working with FARO and fabricators CW Keller, the team was inspired by the style of furniture and design artist Matthias Pliessnig. Led by founder Victor F. “Trey” Trahan and partner Leigh Breslau, the renovation has created a signature piece of cultural architecture for Atlanta.
Structural timber is in the midst of a renaissance; an ironic trend given that timber is arguably the most ancient of building materials. But new innovations in structural timber design have inspired a range of boundary-pushing plans for the age-old material, including everything from bridges to skyscrapers. Even more crucially, these designs are on the path to realization, acceding to building codes that many (mistakenly) view as restrictive to the point of impossibility.
The timber structures of today aren't just breaking records - they're doing it without breaking the rules.
As Atlanta takes center-stage today for the 2019 Superbowl, we've compiled a list of some of the Southern City's architectural gems. The city, a hotspot for small and innovative practices today, punches well above its weight when it comes to modernist and post-modernist works in the US. Some of the city's most intriguing projects, after the break.
Oppenheim Architecture has released an update of their proposed Star Metals development in Atlanta, Georgia. Spread over two schemes, the project seeks to “shift the paradigm of what’s possible for new urban environments” through a 1.36 million-square-foot masterplan.
The Oppenheim scheme consists of a 14-story “Star Metals Offices” building, accommodating offices, terraces, parking, and retail, and a nine-story “Star Metals Residences” building with over 400 residential units.
Thyssenkrupp's "High-Rise Elevator Test Tower" in Atlanta to Experiment with Cable-Free, Sideways-Moving Systems
Thyssenkrupp Elevator, one of the world’s largest elevator companies, has revealed images of their proposed headquarters near The Battery Atlanta in Cobb County, Georgia. The headquarters will take the form of a “state-of-the-art 420-foot (128-meter)-tall elevator qualification and test tower, the tallest of its kind in the U.S. and one of the tallest in the world."
Featuring 18 shafts, the tower will be a testing ground for new concepts and product pilots, including high-speed elevators, two-cabins-per-shaft systems, and the world’s first cable-free and sideways-moving elevator systems.
In this six-minute-long video, Vox makes the argument that the primary reason behind the recent resurgence of streetcar systems—or proposals for streetcars, at least—in the USA is not because of their contributions to urban mobility, but instead because of the fact that they drive and sustain economic development. As it uncovers the causes for the popular failure of the streetcar systems in cities such as Washington DC, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City (low speed and limited connectivity, mostly) it asks why an increasing number of American city governments are pushing for streetcars in spite of their dismal record at improving transit. Is it solely due to their positively modern aesthetic? Are streetcars destined to function as mere “attractions” in a city’s urban landscape? Or is the real objective something more complex?
Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium has released a new video showing the structure’s unique aperture-style retractable roof closing for the very first time. Designed by 360 Architecture (now a part of HOK), the eight ETFE-clad roof “petals” slide along tracks on the stadium roof to come together at a central point, much like how a camera operates. When fully operational, the roof will be able to open and close in less than eight minutes.
Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects have released preliminary designs for a new park floating above a divisive highway and commuter rail line in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. A 2,400-foot-long elevated traverse, Buckhead Park Over GA400 aims to bring the community together with safe, convenient access to the amenities and cultural attractions in Buckhead.
In the past few weeks, the fates of two classic Brutalist buildings by architect Marcel Breuer were determined – with differing results. For the Atlanta Central Library, it was good news, as the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support the renovation of the building, saving it from the wrecking ball. Meanwhile, the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, was not so lucky, as Fairfax County’s board of supervisors voted to tear down the building to make room for a new a townhouse development project.
Perkins+Will has released plans for 98 Fourteenth Street, a 920 foot (280 meter) tall residential and commercial tower that, when complete, will become Atlanta’s second tallest building behind Pritzker Prize winning architect Kevin Roche’s Bank of America Plaza. The new tower is an integral piece of a planned development called the Midtown Art Walk, a half-mile pedestrian landscape featuring innovative architecture and interactive art elements between 2 transit stations in the district. The 74-story building will contain 382 luxury residential units and 180 corporate suites, as well as retail space on the ground level.
Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center has tapped Trahan Architects to lead the renovation of the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre. A cornerstone member of the Woodruff Arts campus, which is also home to Richard Meier’s High Museum and museum expansions by Renzo Piano, the project will include a complete transformation of the Alliance Stage, theater rehearsal spaces, education spaces and support facilities. Selected from a competition of over 30 firms, Trahan’s design will be the first major renovation for the theatre since its construction in 1968.
Like many Brutalist buildings in America, the Central Library in Atlanta by Marcel Breuer is facing demolition, reports The Architect's Newspaper. Completed in 1980 with a 300-seat theater, restaurant and 1 million books, the building exemplifies Breuer’s sensibilities, with its bush-hammered concrete panels and Bauhaus-inspired forms. However, over the years the building has fallen into disrepair, with its theater closing in the mid-1990s, and the restaurant closing a few years later. In 2002, the city spent $5 million on restoration. Even so, in 2008, voters approved a $275 million bond referendum, which included a proposal to replace the library by Breuer with another. Despite protests from preservationists, the building’s future is uncertain, with voters clearly calling for a new library building.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”
A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.
Find out which projects received awards, after the break.