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THIS PAGE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS & WILL BE UPDATED REGULARLY. SOME IMAGES MAY NOT REFLECT THE PROJECT IN ITS CURRENT STATE.

TIMBER IN THE CITY: ARTS CENTER PLACE

Mass Timber as a Catalyst for Urban Density

Year

2022

Studio
Housing America II: Integrations

Program

Mixed Use

Location

Atlanta, GA

Studio Faculty
Ted Shelton, Tricia Stuth

"Housing sits at the crux of numerous economic, social, and environmental concerns in the United States. Where and how people live has profound implications for both cities and individuals. On the urban scale, it affects, for example, the efficiency of municipal services, to what extent the city sprawls, and what forms of transportation are viable. A clear implication is that center cities, if they are to survive, will have to offer less office space and more spaces that support quality of life and foster community.

The ACSA Timber in the City Competition is the vehicle for this exploration. The competition uses an undeveloped site in Atlanta situated between a MARTA train and bus station and the cultural node of the Woodruff Arts Center and High Museum of Art."

Goals, Design Decisions, and Guiding Principles:

A connected and accessible site.

Setting a standard for Atlanta's public transit.

Redefining short-stay housing.

Celebrating the artistry of Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood.

Addressing the Georgia "Front Porch Vernacular" with a 21st Century approach.

Interconnectivity of interior and exterior space.

Site Plan

Process: Sketches, Diagrams, Drawings

Initial Exploratory Sketch
Initial Exploratory Sketch

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Landscape Site Planning
Landscape Site Planning

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Gestural Sketch
Gestural Sketch

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Initial Exploratory Sketch
Initial Exploratory Sketch

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Setting a Standard for Atlanta's Public Transit: Arts Center MARTA Station

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Purposeful and Adaptive Space: Arts Center Station
 

The Arts Center Transit Station is currently home to both the Gold and Red MARTA lines, and also functions as a bus station. It is the seventh-busiest station in the MARTA system and handles an average of 6,600 entries per weekday.

In this proposal, the station is reimagined and transformed from a "function first" stop into an experience for visitors. Heavy timber influence, blending the exterior with the interior, and the addition of provisions market are just a few of the changes made to the Arts Center station. As this MARTA stop is transient heavy, experiential elements as well as amenities became focal points.

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Celebrating Green Spaces: Preserving the Present, Introducing Evergreen Icons

The reworking of Arts Center Station takes the concept of "timber in the city" seriously. In an attempt to further enhance the pedestrian experience, much of the under-utilized space at the corner of Peachtree and 15th St. is converted into an urban oasis. Existing trees are left standing, and flora native to and celebrated within the state of Georgia are introduced.

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West Elevation, Peachtree St. NW

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Connecting the Site

The ramp became an integral piece within the site planning for Arts Center Place - functioning as a connection between Peachtree St. NW and Arts Center Way, it allows pedestrians, MARTA passengers, and residents to traverse the site in an experiential manner and emphasizes the porch vernacular.

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A Connected Pedestrian and Lodging Experience
 

Arts Center Place connects pedestrians through the typology of its "front porches" - the green roof of the MARTA station, the ramping bridge that traverses the site, and the cantilever-esque outcropping of the hostel and marketplace building. 

This connection runs from Peachtree St. NW to Arts Center Way, creating an uninterrupted pedestrian experience ripe with opportunities to engage the site and partake in chance encounters with others.

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Type IV-C: A Biophilic Connection

By utilizing a Type IV-C construction type for both the marketplace/hostel and MARTA station, all of the mass timber elements remain exposed. This creates a meaningful connection to the ethos of "timber in the city" and promotes an interconnectivity with nature in an urban environment.