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Atlanta History Museum

Project | 2011 | Atlanta | Museum, Culture, Community | «The sunlight dripped over the house like golden paint over an art jar, and the freckling shadows here and there only intensified the rigor of the bath of light (…). This was the (…) southernmost Georgia, September afternoon» (Francis Scott Fitzgerald, The Ice Palace).
The Atlanta History Center never again will have a North façade. The new pieces will slide in the sunlight without orthogonal walls, so they will always be bathed in light.
A porch open to the trees, grass and flowers of Atlanta will shelter the visitors from the heat of the sun and rain water. It is an element of the tradition. The white porch is part of the history of the air and light of the South.
Beyond the porch a new lobby is proposed. It is a clear, white and public room, but it retains some of the intimacy of a home. The light enters and the outside can be seen. Visitor services are clearly organized. The new auditorium and classrooms also have immediate access from the lobby. The retail area is located in the output path of visitors, fully incorporated into the lobby.
Inside, acting only at the entrances to the rooms, the space of collections is now systematic. It is possible to visit all the rooms in a continuous run, without returning to the lobby or to any corridor. You may also visit selected rooms only, since all have direct access from the lobby. The size and shape of each room may be determined and changed by AHC curators.
The main floor opens to the South, until now hidden from the rooms. Thanks to eliminate some obstacles and open two new windows, people walking on the Museum can rest their eyes on the beautiful trees of Buckhead campus and have easy access to cafe and gardens.
Access to Ballroom is now more spacious, comfortable and independent through a pedestrian bridge and an expanded lobby. A new Miesian Palladian ramp properly connects room and gardens.
The project, sunlit, two white lenses, is a place for memory, at once surreal and inseparable from the ground. We discovered it in the past of Georgia, where «people have these dreams they fasten onto things, and I’ve always grown up with that dream».

 
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