Houston-based developer Hines is planning a seven-story office building on what's currently a 1-acre surface parking lot in Atlantic Station, near the Millennium Gate on 17th Street. But what's really interesting — beyond the fact that a multi-story development in Atlanta won't be apartments — is that Hines wants the building to be a throwback, down to its wooden bones. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports the 220,000-square-foot proposal could be the first of its kind for the Southeast, echoing a similar Hines project in Minneapolis. One Hines official has described the other project as follows: "It's not your father's office building, it's your grandfather's office building." As such, the main construction materials for the Atlantic Station project would be heavy timber, glued laminated timber and concrete, making it one of the country's only tallish buildings made primarily of wood, according to one report. That could leave a smaller carbon footprint than steel construction, sure, but the builder's motivation appears to be more complex than that.
It's a safe bet that Hines has been inspired by thriving office projects like Ponce City Market, but hulking former distribution centers with beautiful old detailing are few and far between. What's the next best thing? Build new old? Go full pseudo-adaptive-reuse? Maybe.
The Atlantic Station project would have the "charm and warmth" of an adaptive-reuse warehouse, "but without the inefficient heating and cooling systems and poor acoustics associated with such space," the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. It would also strive to incorporate "the sustainable attributes and modern technology that progressive tenants demand."
If this office stack is anything like its Minnesota cousin, it would also feature a rooftop amenity deck, bike-repair shop and fitness center for tenants. MinnPost quoted the architect, Michael Green, describing that proposal as "the first large-scale office building built of timber in America" and "part of a revitalization of century old ideas of how to build buildings."
· 'Not your father's office building' planned for Atlantic Station [ABC; subscriber]
· Minneapolis' office building of the future will be made of, uh, wood? [MinnPost]
· The many lives of Ponce City Market [AJC]