1020 Spring Street

Project Description

1020 Spring is an unbuilt mixed-use high rise project located at the corner of 10th and Spring Street in Atlanta. The landowner commissioned our firm to develop this concept to demonstrate the feasibility of a mixed-use office, residential and hotel complex utilizing the maximum development capacity of the site. That represented a total of 1.8 million square feet on a 4 acre site, with supporting infrastructure, parking, and public amenities.

The site occupies a prime corner in Midtown, with visibility from the I-78/85 corridor and a position at the high point of the city’s local topography. This affords terrific views in all direction. The site is within walking distance of the Midtown MARTA station, Peidmont Park and the Midtown dining district. The site is at a nexus of activity and presents a prime opportunity for development on a site currently dedicated to an underutilized but historically significant business.

To responsibly and meaningfully connect this project to its surrounding context in Midtown, an active plaza creates a linkage between the three towers, and generates a retail driven streetscape that would stimulate the culture of this vibrant area of Atlanta. The primary office tower stands at the center of the district and would be a beacon along 10th Street, a major city connector, at the point it crosses the interstate. The forms of the buildings are dynamic and modern, meant to capture and display upward the kinetic motion of the intersection and the activity and energy of Midtown Atlanta.

The location of this project is on prime real estate in Midtown, a site that straddles the high point of Atlanta’s topography, originally known as Spring Hill. It features a 35-foot elevation change from one side to the other, posing a challenge to developing a connected streetscape. Careful grading and stepping of the site at the prime corner, as well as utilizing public spaces within the ground floors of the buildings to transition the grade, was a successful strategy for integrating the public-interfacing level of the project into the site.

In addition to the physical elevation changes of the site, the project required a unified parking solution that would accommodate the three distinctly different building programs and needs. A three level parking structure carved into the site from the low side created a ground-plane plinth at the high side, effectively setting the parking below grade and maximizing the area available to develop a public plaza and streetscape.

An area that required sensitivity is the fact that the site is the location of a significant structure, the H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Home and Chapel. The building is well-known in Atlanta, designed by Philip Trammell Shutze and constructed in 1928. It is listed as one of Atlanta’s most endangered historic places by the Atlanta Preservation Center. This project rightly exemplifies the worst fears of preservationist as an exploration of maximizing development value of a parcel of land, which was our charge as designers, without apparent regard for the intrinsic historic value of the structures located on it. Discussions with the client acknowledged this friction, and ideas were developed (although not depicted in this submission) that considered protecting and preserving large sections of the original Shutze design, including the chapel interiors, and incorporating them into the public, retail and dining spaces at ground level. Ultimately, we believe that the best solution would in fact acknowledge and incorporate precious historic building elements into the new design, to forge a more permanent memory of the legacy of this site.