The final 2016 installment in the Visual Journeys series takes us to an 1869 building on Marietta Street near the Georgia Aquarium, a rugged two-story structure that’s served as a tractor factory, headquarters for a motorcycle gang in the 1980s, and now the immaculate living quarters of Australian transplants Peter and Gillian Harper.
We’ve seen more grandiose and ostensibly expensive renovations in Atlanta this year — but none cooler than this achingly authentic urban retreat.
The Harpers, who’ve called Atlanta home for five years, purchased the cavernous property (ceilings soar to 36 feet) in January 2015 and embarked on a two-year project that saw much of the artwork, lighting, and furniture imported from Europe. The aesthetic leans monochrome-modern with surprising, crucial pops of color.
Window bays were transformed into big vertical plant boxes. A glass door installed at the home’s rear unveils a private backyard patio and entertainment space. Lighting was tweaked to artfully shadow the old brick.
That’s not to say any of this was easy.
The Harpers encountered several challenges related to the building’s age and structure. Some of the original brickwork was brittle and unstable, and exposed pipes — and the lack of a single straight angle — proved tricky for builders.
The project wrapped late this year, and diligence appears to have paid off.