The 12th incarnation of Atlanta’s early summer modern home tour, and the broader festival it’s associated with, is a celebration of variety, in terms of design and location. It’s also a showcase of far how beyond convention the city’s residential architecture is willing to go.
Founded in 2007, MA!’s annual program—the expansive Atlanta Design Festival, formerly Design is Human Atlanta—returns to town from Saturday to June 9. Over the years, the festival has logged more than 4,100 visitors from 45 states.
A perennial favorite is the self-guided tour of modern homes, which will highlight the best of Atlanta’s sustainable, contemporary, and otherwise innovative design on June 8 and 9. Stops this year include Ansley Park, Buckhead, Inman Park, Berkeley Park, Old Fourth Ward, and beyond.
Tour and festival cofounder Elayne DeLeo provided Curbed Atlanta with a few of her favorite picks this year, as previewed below. But one project, in her eyes, stands out: Haus Gables, around the corner from the Atlanta Beltline in O4W.
“Its use of materials, its statement, and size—it’s the future of architecture, and we hope to see more architects taking risks like Jennifer [Bonner, of the MALL firm],” said DeLeo. “The other homes are great, too, but we want new voices pushing a new narrative as to what contemporary design should be aiming for in the future of the Southeast.”
In addition to home tours around Serenbe and Asheville, the festival is offering more than 60 events this year—most of them free—that include talks, films, showroom events, and the Design Economy Expo.
Modern design enthusiasts—prepare to be inspired.
3181 Rilman Road
Square footage: 5,700
Architecture, interior designer: plexus r+d
Contractor: Principle Builders Group
This tri-level dwelling atop a hill was conceived as a Buckhead retreat, with an emphasis on tranquility despite its proximity to busy Northside Drive. Included in the plexus r+d design—one of several projects by the firm on 2019’s tour—are truly expansive living spaces, five bedrooms, an entertainment courtyard, and pool cabana. It’s sited to capitalize on sloped topography, up from the street to a wooded ravine behind the home.
110 Druid Circle NE
Neighborhood: Inman Park
Square footage: 4,250 (with 2,125 in unfinished basement)
Architecture: Erica Loesing of Dencity
General contractor: Red Level Renovations
With the most traditional presence of this bunch, at least from the street, this Dencity project transformed a 1920s residence in Historic Inman Park with light, airy interiors that contrast the strong exterior stance. Sunshine filters in from a centralized skylight that spans the roof’s ridge. Clean lines, light maple, and surprises abound.
West Paces Ferry Residence
241 West Paces Ferry Road
Square footage: 5,900
Architecture: plexus r+d
Interior designer: plexus r+d; Lulo Design Studio
Contractor: Craft Custom Homes
Spanning almost 6,000 square feet, which isn’t exactly exorbitant for West Paces Ferry Road, this five-bedroom domicile specializes in the dramatic, as evidenced by multistory interiors and a true entertainer’s paradise around the pool. A complex series of terraces, descending from the street toward the backyard, define the home.
Neighborhood: Ansley Park
Square footage/address: Unspecified
Architecture: TaC Studios
Interior design: TaC Studios
Builder: Garrett Group
Having risen on the former site of a fire-damage apartment building, this TaC Studios project in Ansley Park might look familiar, following magazine spotlights and general acclaim among local architecture wonks. Echoing the neighborhood’s large front porches in a more contemporary vein, it counts Midtown views, banks of magnolia and cedar, glass panels that disappear into limestone walls, and a pool long enough to tire Olympians. (Note: This home is open for tours only on Saturday, June 8).
Chattahoochee River Residence
3885 Paces Ferry Drive
Location: Far northwest Atlanta
Square footage: 5,300
Architecture: Plexus r+d
Interior designer: Plexus r+d; The Design Atelier
Contractor: CRAFT Custom Homes
Just beyond the Chattahoochee but technically still in Atlanta, like the Braves, this three-level residence offers riverside living at its most modernistic. It includes a fitness room, three bedrooms, and plenty of interconnected living spaces—all positioned above a critical flood elevation point.
718 Antone Street NW
Neighborhood: Berkeley Park
Square footage: 2,750
Architecture: Jordache Avery, Xmetrical
Interior design: Xmetrical; Jeanna George Design
Landscape: Brendan Butler Landscape Design
General contractor: Intown Builders
Inspired by the owners’ affection for clean lines and open spaces, this house just west of Midtown recently came together on a sloped, linear infill lot. The design required a side-entry garage that, in conjunction with exaggerated cantilevers, served to enhance the linear presence.
169 Sampson Street NE
Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
Square footage: 2,200
Designer/developer: Jennifer Bonner, MALL director
Project design team: Jennifer Bonner, Ben Halpern, Benzi Rodman, Justin Jiang, Dohyun Lee, Daniela Leon
General contractor: Principle Builders Group
Associate architect: Jeffery Olinger (Olinger Architects)
This eye-catching, rule-bending O4W project a few steps from the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has been no stranger to these pages, from concept to construction and beyond. Crowned by a cluster of six gabled roofs, it’s one of just two homes in the U.S. made of cross-laminated timber—a strong layering of lumber pieces, glued together in alternating directions.