2016 + Georgia Globe + Atlanta Design Awards

Georgia Globe Design News



The 3rd Annual Georgia Globe – Atlanta Design Awards

2016 was another awe-inspiring year for design, development, and construction in metropolitan Atlanta.

The city is exploding with new skyscrapers, culinary attractions, and residential towers; their designs have been heightened, and are pace-setting.

Atlanta has so many scores of important and very expensive projects proposed, in design development phases, and under construction, this process of highlighting ‘the best’, is increasingly difficult (happily).

The following projects were selected for their excellence in design, civic importance, and/or exhibition of the aspirational Atlanta Spirit.

They were chosen, painfully, by my team of one. Please feel free to comment… maybe, one day, this will be a more democratic process. In the mean time, enjoy some great Atlanta projects– all nominees are winners!

The categories are:

10. Top New Project Announcement Award

9. Top Historic Reuse Project

8. Top Project Under Construction

7. Top Transportation Project

6. Top Project Most Likely to Remain Unbuilt

5. Demolition of the Year

4. Top Retail Project

3. Top Restaurant Design

2. Icon for Generations Award

1. all leading up to… the 2016

Georgia Globe Design News – Atlanta Project of the Year



Top New Project Announcement Award

Last year’s winner of the Top Project Announcement 2015 was JPX Works’ condo tower, Emerson, 2520 Peachtree Road, Buckhead for its excellence in design. It will be under construction soon. Emerson’s sister tower, Lili, is already under construction in the Fox Theatre Historic District, Midtown.



This year, the nominees for Top New Project Announcement are:

  • 1105 West Peachtree, $400 million, 17-32 floors, office/residential/hotel/retail, Midtown, by Rule Joy Trammel Architects and Selig Enterprises


  • The Charles condominiums, 18 floors, Buckhead Village, by Lord Aeck Sargent Architects, and Loudermilk developers
    The Charles is adjacent to the toney Shops of Buckhead and will front Loudermilk Park.


  • Star Metals office/retail building & apartment building, Howell Mill Road, Westside by Chad Oppenheim & Warner Summers Architects and Allen Morris Co. developers.

Image result for Stockyards, westside Atlanta


  • Opus Place, condos/ corporate suites/ retail, 74 stories, 14th Street, Midtown, by Perkins & Will Architects and Olympia Heights Management developers
    Opus Place is slated to become Atlanta’s second tallest building, and one of the nations tallest residential towers at 920 feet. It is planned to be a twin towers project with retail and hotel, across from the Four Seasons Atlanta.


  • Solis Hotel at Porsche North American headquarters, Atlanta Aerotropolis, by HOK Architects and Capella Hotel Group
    The Solis is under construction next to the new Porsche headquarters and test track.


  • Colony Square Mall renovation at 14th & Peachtree, Midtown, by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects NY and North American Properties
    Colony_Sq 1000pixels.jpg
    Colony Square may become an open air piazza experience- just before its 50th birthday as one of the US first mixed-use developments.


  • 1122 Crescent Avenue, an SLS Hotel & condos, 42 stories, Midtown, by SBE architects and Trillist developers
    The soaring, trend-setting hotel will have a related retail/apartment tower at 1138 Peachtree Street (shown above).


  • Woodruff Arts Center $100 million renovation, Peachtree St, Midtown, TVS Design
    The campus-wide transformation includes a new entrance courtyard for Richard Meier’s High Museum of Art.
    Award-winning Alliance Theatre will receive curvilinear fine wood design elements.


  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport‘s $6 billion expansion– befitting of the world’s only airport to exceed 100 million passengers in one year. Virtually every portion of the airport (and beyond) is part of the design program.
A $350 million InterContinental Hotel by JPA Architects will be directly adjacent to the main terminal and connected by a courtyard with fountains and a multi-colored glass roof.


Tough category, all are beautiful projects…

And the Top New Project Announcement 2016 winner is

Opus Place

for it’s soaring minimalist modern design and the audacity to reach for the skies in true Atlanta Spirit.

400 condos with amenities to match the best location in the South.



Top Adaptive Reuse Project Award

Last year’s Adaptive Reuse Project Award winner was the Microsoft Innovation Center and restoration of the 1897 Flatiron Building, Peachtree St, Downtown Atlanta

2016 Nominees for Top Adaptive Reuse are:

  • North + Line residential & retail at the BeltLine & historic Excelsior Mill, Old 4th Ward, by Smith Dahlia Architects and Southeast Capital Partners
    The Georgia granite structure was an early industrial building and housed the iconic music hall Club Masquerade for many years, now moving to Underground Atlanta.


  • Stockyards Atlanta will offer entertainment/office/retail in the historic Old Miller Stockyards, Brady Avenue, West Midtown, by Ai3 Architects and Westbridge, developer.


  • The Byron Lofts & retail, 549 Peachtree St, Downtown, by Plexus R+D Architectsthe-byron-1000


  • Atlanta Dairies mixed-use entertainment redevelopment, Memorial Drive, Grant Park, by Perkins & Will and Paces Properties.

And the Top Historic Reuse Project 2016 winner is

North + Line

New residences and retail along Old 4th Ward Park
New retail / restaurant space in the old Excelsior Mill, once Masquerade.


Top Atlanta Project Under Construction

Last year’s  Top Atlanta Project Under Construction Award went to

City Springs, the new city center for Atlanta’s most important suburban city, with government offices, residential/ retail/ performing arts center, Roswell Rd At Johnson Ferry & Mount Vernon Rd, Sandy Springs

Night Render

The 2016 Nominees are:

  • NCR World Headquarters, 22 stories, Spring Street at 8th, Tech Square, Midtown, by Duda Paine Architectsncr1000The two towers are connected by a transparent, welcoming, indoor/ outdoor experience for neighborhood techies.A view of NCR World Headquarters from the I-75/I-85 Connector


  • Hanover Midtown, apartments/office/retail, 29 floors, Peachtree St at 7th, by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (Chicago) 
  • CODA High Performance Computing Center, Tech Square, Midtown, by John Portman & Associates
    An historic structure was saved for this development. (So, anything’s possible!)

    A view of the public courtyard, connecting West Peachtree and Spring Streets, with video walls, artistic lighting, and seating areas.


  • One Museum Place, condominiums, across Peachtree from the High Museum, by Mack Scoggin & Merril Elam Architects (Atlanta) and John Weiland developerOnce slated for a skyscraper, the developer opted for pedestrian scale and excellent design quality, adjacent to one of Atlanta’s best historic neighborhoods, incomparable Ansley Park.


  • Ascent Midtown apartments/hotel/retail, 24 stories, West Peachtree Street, Midtown, by R2L: Architects (D.C.) and Greystar developers


  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium for NFL Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, the “best new NFL stadium”, with its operable oculus roof and ovular jumbo-tron video screen, the structure is about 30 stories tall, $1.7 billion, near Centennial Olympic Park, Downtown Atlanta, by Bill Johnson of 360 Architecture


  • lili residences/retail, 24 stories, Peachtree at 3rd St, Fox Theatre Historic District, Midtown, by ODA: Architecture and JPX Studios 


And the Top Atlanta Project Under Construction 2016 winner is:


High Performance Computing Center / Tech Square for its high impact, technology driven design, massive computing abilities, and new center for Atlanta’s exploding technology companies from all over the world. 



Top Transportation Project 

Last year, the Top Transportation Project Winner was Keith Parker’s major turnaround of Atlanta’s MARTA system.

The 2016 Nominees are:

  • Atlanta Regional Commission’s approved $1 billion plan for cyclists and pedestrians.



  • Atlanta voters for approving a $3 billion plan for pedestrian, transit and transportation projects (MARTA and Atlanta BeltLine)

And the Top Atlanta Transportation Project 2016 winner is:

The Atlanta Voter’s approval for Transportation 2016



Top Project Most Likely to Remain Un-built Award

Last year, the 98 14th St mixed use triple towers was crowned. Well, I was both right and wrong. The project, as designed by Arquitectonica, Miami, was cancelled. However, the new design, now called Opus Place, will be twin towers, nearly the tallest in Atlanta, designed by Stevens & Wilkinson, and,  hopefully, very likely to be built.

The Nominees for Most Likely to Remain Unbuilt 2016 are:

  • Sandy Springs Park over 400 Highway Cap, Johnson Ferry Road, Fulton Countysandy_springs_400_park-0


  • Gateway Pedestrian Bridge, Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County24357683260_6eda759b24_z


  • Campanile Addition of 6 floors to the existing 21 story tower & street retail, 14th & Peachtree, by Dewberry Capital


And the Top Project Most Likely to Remain Unbuilt 2016  winner is:

Gateway Pedestrian Bridge at Peachtree Corners

“Walk like a Gwinnettian”, yes, sorry, we sang that in the ’80’s. But, come on… Gwinnettians don’t really walk.  Sorry for my cynicism. It’s beautiful! Go ahead, build it and they will come!


Demolition of the Year Award

Last year was a terrible tie, for the razing of Glenridge Hall, Sandy Springs,


and The Hulse House, a 20th century masterwork by by Anthony Ames, Architect


This year, we have much happier results, seeing the likely saving of

Spring Hill Memorial Chapel by Philip Shutze, 1928, Spring Street, Midtown (lifespan uncertain)

Trust Company Bank, Monroe Drive Branch, by Henri Jova (lifespan uncertain)

And, the full preservation of both The Candler Building (Coca-Cola), to become a Curio Hotel by Hilton, Downtown

and the Briarcliff Mansion (Coca-Cola, again), to become a boutique hotel at Emory University, Druid Hills

Alas, though, we did lose…

 …the memorial to one of the very first homesteads, in 1822, of the Todd Family, with one of the oldest gravesites…

… in, what would become, only 194 years later, the Alpha- City of Atlanta– 36th most important city on Earth (according to Global Cities: 2010 Rankings).


Anyway, the Demolition of the Year Award 2016

goes to– the Jack Holes– that destroyed, forever, an important piece of Atlanta history, be it ever so very humble.

In true American spirit, they are being sued…



Top Retail Project of the Year Award

Last year’s winner was Restoration Hardware Gallery in Buckhead


The nominees for 2016 are:

  • Phipps Plaza renovations, the 1969 shopping palace, which was upgraded, again for 2016, giving it a new, more urban face toward Peachtree Boulevard.
  • dsc_0575%202 phipps-plaza-t7iyrf


  • Westside Atlanta district: “real”, new retail, including Westside Provisions/ Howell Mill Rd / Marietta Streetrsz_westsidemap_0 wspd_north_district_960x350


  • Skyline Park, The Roof at Ponce City Market, although not “strictly” a retail project, Ponce City Market, a food hall and marketplace of national proportions, has added a rooftop entertainment deck to amplify the fun factor while shopping.a6618a4521img_5908 cab7255-3

 So, the 2016 Retail of the Year Award goes to:

Ponce City Market

(again, it wins so many awards…)




Top Restaurant Design of the Year Award

Last year, honors went to Ford Fry’s drop-dead gorgeous Bar Margot at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, 14th St, Midtown

As per Zagat, “Atlanta has always been home to some rather stunning restaurants and bars, spaces so jaw-droppingly gorgeous that they almost — almost! — lend credence to the expression “eat with your eyes first.”

And chefs hate that, but people love it!

For 2016, the nominees for Top Restaurant Design of the Year Award are:

  • Himitsu, the lauded, surreptitious, cocktail lounge and sushi bar, One Buckhead Plaza, at Loudermilk Park, designed by Tom Dixon and chef Fuyuhiko Ito


  • Umi Sushi, modern Japanese, near Himitsu, Buckhead, also by Tom Dixon


  • Cape Dutch, sophisticated South African Steakhouse, Cheshire bridge Road, Morningside/Lenox Park, designed by Kelly Anthony and chef Philippe Haddad


  • The Mercury, “a cocktail-focused, classic American eatery,” mid-century modern meets industrial Ponce City Market, designed by Square Feet Studio and chef Mike Blydenstein


  • Marcel, 1920’s French boxer theme, Howell Mill Rd, Westside, by designer Elisabeth Ingram, chef Ford Fry



  • Amer, fine cocktails and savory bites, Inman Quarter, Inman Park


And, the winner for Top Restaurant Design of the Year Award is




Icon for Generations Award

Last year, Richard Meier’s HIGH Museum of Art at the Woodruff Arts Center, Midtown, with Renzo Piano’s perfectionist additions.

This year, we would like to honor

The Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 1967 , by John Portman

which transformed the design of hotels, perhaps, forever. It remains a masterpiece.

The Hyatt House was the first modern atrium hotel.
Although it didn’t really need a total design change, the new lobby restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is well-designed.


The first runner up for 2016 Project of the Year is Buckhead’s Central Park over highway 400.

And finally… the highest Georgia Globe Design News- Atlanta Design Award

2016 Project of the Year

The Stitch, a cap over I-75/I-85 highways, connecting Midtown and Downtown Atlanta

Congratulations, everyone, good design helps all people.




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