Perkins+Will’s new Atlanta office presented the opportunity to transform an existing building in the heart of Midtown by both reusing the building’s worthy assets and correcting its signature faults. Recently certified LEED Platinum, with the highest score ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere, the success of the project suggests that reuse and renovation is central to the concept of sustainability. While earning accolades for excellence in building design, one of the project’s most profound features is its renewed connection to the street. Like the building, the site design represents the humanistic values and sustainable aspirations of the firm through open, welcoming spaces and material and detail choices.
The entrance to the original 1980s building featured a circular driveway connecting to a street-level parking bay—a car-centric orientation more typical of suburban office parks. The site redesign encloses and repurposes that parking level as a spectacular new 10,000 square foot space for the Museum of Design Atlanta and replaces the driveway with a new civic plaza. This outdoor space invites the public to occupy a comfortable, tree-shaded plaza and provides access to the Museum, second-floor branch Library and Perkins+Will’s new space on the upper floors. The plaza surface utilizes porous pavers, wood decking and precast concrete bands to create a lively plaza that is used frequently as expanded event space for the museum.
Operating as a living lab and educational tool, the building includes high-performance features like on-site power generation through microturbines and photovoltaics, radiant heating and cooling and under-floor air distribution. Rainwater is collected from the roof, stored in a 10,000 gallon cistern, filtered and treated onsite then used for 100% of restroom flush fixtures and landscape irrigation. Overflow water fills a lobby-level water feature and is channeled into rain gardens and under the plaza where it naturally supports groundwater recharge. Tree wells under the deck eliminate the need for compacted soil, and pervious hardscapes further help reduce stormwater runoff within the limits of a tight urban site.
Higher up, the western face of the original building was completely reshaped to create an exterior terrace on the fifth floor that is used for lunches and meetings throughout the week, as well as Friday “Beer Time.” A steel trellis and motorized shade system limit solar heat gain. FSC-Certified Massaranduba wood tiles are combined with flush planters on the floor surface of the terrace. Plant materials on the terrace and throughout the site are organized around the theme of plants used in traditional medicinal applications, which ties into the healthcare and wellness practice areas of the firm.
Images Courtesy of Perkins+Will
1315 PEACHTREE STREET
PROJECT SIZE 2 acres (.8 hectares)