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Sneak peek: 7 intriguing Atlanta moderns on upcoming MA! Architecture Tour

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On display in 2019 are homes from Inman Park to the Chattahoochee River and beyond

A plexus r+d design on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.
A plexus r+d design on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.
Ron Hart

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.

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Rilman Residence

3181 Rilman Road

Photography by Ron Hart

Neighborhood: Buckhead

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.

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Druid Circle

110 Druid Circle NE

Dencity
Photography by Heidi Geldhauser

Neighborhood: Inman Park

Square footage: 4,250 (with 2,125 in unfinished basement)

Architecture: Erica Loesing of Dencity

Landscape: Core

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.

Dencity

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West Paces Ferry Residence

241 West Paces Ferry Road

Photography by Ron Hart

Neighborhood: Buckhead

Square footage: 5,900

Architecture: plexus r+d

Interior designer: plexus r+d; Lulo Design Studio

Contractor: Craft Custom Homes

Landscape: Core

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.

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Lafayette

Photography by Mali Azima

Neighborhood: Ansley Park

Square footage/address: Unspecified

Architecture: TaC Studios

Interior design: TaC Studios

Landscape: Planters

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).

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Chattahoochee River Residence

3885 Paces Ferry Drive

Photography by Emily Followill, Ron Hart.

Location: Far northwest Atlanta

Square footage: 5,300

Architecture: Plexus r+d

Interior designer: Plexus r+d; The Design Atelier

Contractor: CRAFT Custom Homes

Landscape: Core

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.

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Antone Residence

718 Antone Street NW

Photography by Fredrik Brauer

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.

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Haus Gables

169 Sampson Street NE

Photography by NAARO

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.