Project Spotlight: Peachtree Crossing

Site solutions is working on several projects in our own backyard, including the proposed 122,000-square-foot Peachtree Crossing in Chamblee, Georgia.

The development, located on the former Oxford Chemical Corporation property at 5001 Peachtree Blvd., will offer a mix of retail and restaurant space, which is rumored to include anchor tenant Whole Foods, according to Tomorrow’s News Today. Fairburn, Georgia-based S. J. Collins Enterprises is the developer.

We are providing design and landscape services for the project.

We are providing design and landscape services for the project.

The Brookhaven/Chamblee area is a growing community in North Atlanta, attracting young families and professionals alike. In March 2014, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Brookhaven has the fastest growing zip code (30319) in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Because millennials are flocking to the neighborhood, sustainability and walkability are key drivers in our design for the 9 +/- acre center. The landscaping complements the local look and feel of the community as well as encourages guests to spend time and enjoy their experience walking throughout the development.

Rendering of proposed Peachtree Crossing development.

Rendering of proposed Peachtree Crossing development.

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Around the World Wednesday

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.38.49 AMToday on our Around the World Wednesday post, we’d like to applaud Curbed for their unique, monthly series that invites an emerging architect to redesign an existing structure in his or her city.

The Curbed article we’re highlighting today looks at the redesign of three buildings in Johannesburg, South Africa’s downtown business district. (Read the full article here).

Here’s the short version:

Since the crumbling of the apartheid and the introduction of South Africa’s democratic government, businesses deserted downtown Johannesburg for the “safer” suburbs. The left-behind downtown skyscrapers became home to the city’s poorest.

GASS Architecture Studio, a Johannesburg-based firm, reimagined three of the historical, downtown buildings while addressing the area’s gentrification. With the goal of giving the buildings “back to the city”, the architects envisioned a mixed-use block with a school, offices, apartments, retail space and a hotel, all above a public plaza.

Rendering credit to GASS Architecture Studio.

Rendering credit to GASS Architecture Studio.

The current owner planned to convert the buildings into luxury apartments. The bid was unsuccessful.

Rather than resorting to the downtown district’s pre-apartheid business identity, GASS Architecture Studio’s design calls for friendly streets with civic space for community use in the form of a flexible performance and civic square, as well as development space for tenants.

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Rendering credit to GASS Architecture Studio.

This idea of introducing public/mixed-use space to “give the buildings back” to city cores can be applied to places all over the world. Even in Atlanta, we have worked on projects that give green space back to the public. For example, we are working on expanding Chastain Park’s sidewalks and narrowing the surrounding streets to slow down traffic flow and encourage walkability. Can you think of another example?

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Project Spotlight: Weston Lakefront Corporate Campus

North Carolina is home to quite a few of our projects. One in particular that is currently under construction – the Weston Lakefront project in Cary, North Carolina – is a corporate office developed by Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties for insurance giant MetLife, Inc.

The technology hub will bring an estimated 1,000 local jobs and will invest $125.5 million to combine its tech operations in Cary with its U.S. retail business campus in Charlotte. The corporate campus will not only inspire job creation, but also pump money into the local economy via increased spending and home purchases. Moreover, it will be a place where locals and workers can come to enjoy North Carolina’s mild weather.

In designing the campus’ outdoor space, we pulled from our expertise with experiential projects such as Avalon and Atlantic Station. We sought to extend the office outside its four walls by giving employees and guests a place for lunch, walks, events, games and more.

The project site sits along the banks of Lake Crabtree off of Weston Parkway. The designed amenities for the project include an outdoor sports court, amphitheater, quad lawn, outdoor dining terrace, on-structure plaza and courtyard space for outdoor events.

Rendering of walking paths and quad lawn. Photo credit to David Hartley.

Rendering of walking paths and quad lawn. Photo credit to David Hartley.

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Rendering of amphitheater. Photo credit to David Hartley.

All of these amenity spaces will have access to Wi-Fi and be tech-friendly with power outlets for mobile devices. To connect our project to the community, we worked with the Town of Cary to provide access to the Crabtree Creek Greenway and the community via an accessible trail.

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact principal in charge Scott Jones at sjones@sitesolutionsla.com.

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Through the Designer’s Eyes

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.38.34 AM By: Joshua Thompson

The plight of all architects seems to be calculating and observing a space – and how others interact with that space – before actually enjoying the atmosphere, party or people.

Here’s what I mean…

Just before sunset, a friend and I walk out to a party on the terrace of an amenity deck. Before I can take in the setting sun, party guests and dramatic skyline view, my vision is flooded by the new space – the scale, materials, finishes, details, furniture, layout and so on.

The amenity deck of North American Properties’ luxury residences at Park Central, located in Nashville, Tennessee.

The amenity deck of North American Properties’ luxury residences at Park Central, located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Not until I decipher if that seat wall has a 2” or 1” overhang on the capstone can I remove myself from the design to enjoy that beautiful sunset.

Observation is a skill designers learn through experience. We focus less on the finish of the paving material or color of the flowers, and more on the people interacting within the space. Their actions and behaviors will tell more about the space’s attributes and failures.

During the aforementioned party, the amenity deck was bustling with people. Every corner of the place was activated. All chairs were taken up regardless of style, material and location.

As the night wore on, the crowd began to thin and spaces became empty. From a designer’s standpoint, it became interesting to see what spaces were valued over another now that choices were available. This allowed for the spaces to be better quantified. What worked, what did not and why?

As the crowd thins, people choose to engage in some spaces over others.

As the crowd thins, people choose to engage in some spaces over others.

At Site solutions, we’ve learned to consider more than just quality of materials. We find it helps to observe people engaging with these spaces. Their interactions ultimately define what makes great design. It is, after all, about the people and not brick and mortar.

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Avalon: Product Spotlight

In past blogs we have spoken to the programming, branding continuity, the skating rink and overall place making that contribute to the energy and vibe of Avalon. Additionally, site furniture, fireplaces, fountains, pots, bocce, etc., liberally sprinkled throughout a development add the texture and fine grain to the experience. Occasionally, new and exciting vendor products really do hit the mark, which is evidenced at Avalon.

A few examples:

  1. Green Walls: In lieu of murals and graphics the team decided to energize underused storefront facades with green walls. Manufactured by Tournesol Siteworks, they add great seasonal color, visual interest and fragrance to the guest experience.Untitled
  2. “Jessie Rails”: From Landscape Forms’ Urban Edge collection, these outdoor bar style counters provide a great seating option to both standard benches, seatwalls and café tables and chairs. Their high counter height, double-sized swivel seats, and linear arrangement perched over the skating rink provide great interplay between the seated, passers-by and skaters.Untitled2
  3. Shade Sails: Three large footprint (16’ sq.) inverted shade sails from Fabritec provide visual interest, marking the east entry to Avalon’s Living Room. Uplit, they are quite dramatic and deliver much-needed shade to the Children’s Play area.Untitled3
  4. Floor Lamps: One of the guiding principles is for Avalon to feel like “home”. Oversize floor lamps from Barbicon provide the recall and comfort of “indoors” scaled up for the energy and bustle of the project. Each lamp base also recalls the Avalon branding logo.Untitled4Untitled5
  5. Main Street Benches: We selected the Sonoma bench from Landscape Forms which has a circular laptop shelf at the corner, adding to the comfort and subtle hi-tech nature of a project that is a “fiberhood” throughout.Untitled6
  6. Green Roofs: Located above the gaming tables at the living room, the prefab trays from Weston Solutions (with plants by Saul Nurseries) animate the roof, cool it, and provide a visual reminder of the sustainable principles woven into the project.Untitled8
  7. Bicycle racks: The outstretched hand cor-ten bike rack model Tactil from Landscape Forms adds an anarchic touch of whimsy to the Concierge area.Untitled7
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A Look Back at 2014

At last, in 2014, we were able to say definitively: The Great Recession is behind us. We had many reasons to celebrate at Site solutions this year – new hires, more office space, grand openings and ground breakings. We are proud of the work we’ve done this year and grateful to our clients. Here are some highlights:

– Our multifamily project, 77 12th Street, won an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award.

– The highly anticipated mixed-use project, Avalon, opened in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Senator Brandon Beach speaks during opening ceremonies at the $600 million development, Avalon. Photo credit to North American Properties.

Senator Brandon Beach speaks during opening ceremonies at the $600 million development, Avalon. Photo credit to North American Properties.

– ONE Daytona, Celebration Pointe, Tech Center at Oyster Point and Tanger Outlets Savannah broke ground.

– We made the front page of Retrofit magazine!

– The team welcomed six new hires to accommodate our growth.

– We moved into a new office space to better suit our growing firm.

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A snapshot of the lobby in our new office space.

– And we kicked off our blog. (Thanks for the page visit!)

We look forward to the exciting opportunities 2015 will bring. Cheers — and talk to you next year!

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Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone happy holidays and looking forward to a busy and productive 2015! Stay tuned for our year in review.

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