101 Marietta Street Lobby Renovation and Rebranding
Bruce McEvoy, Lauren Prickett, Lauren Smith, Charlie Prats|MEP: Barrett Woodyard & Associates – Kevin Price | Structural: Palmer Engineering Company – Eric Hagberg | AV: Baker Audio | Contractor: HITT
The Dilweg Companies purchased 101 Marietta Street (Centennial Tower) in 2015 looking to reposition the property in 2016. While the building’s iconic chevron silhouette is an integral part of the Atlanta skyline, the building’s identity and lobby needed help to compete with the flourishing downtown market. The building is home to the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream as well as several media and tech companies. To serve this demographic and make the project more relevant for today’s workstyles, the design team envisioned an engaging and playful “third workplace” that could be used by building tenants and visitors alike.
The layout of 101 Marietta Street is challenging due to its two lobbies split by a core, and multiple points of entry. Visitors can enter the building’s south lobby from Marietta Street while pedestrians can also enter the north lobby from the east, west or a parking deck on the building’s north side. The team saw this chaotic-challenge as an opportunity to create a truly unique, playful and thoroughly modern space.
First, lobbies on the north and south sides of the building are linked by a large video wall displaying a camera-feed from the other side, as if you were looking through the core and it had disappeared. This continuous-feed gives visitors the experience of being in the entire space rather than just a portion of it. The team also created a new video content exploring time, space and technology to playfully question “reality.” By using a combination of pre-recorded and live video, visitors are entertained by a “questionable reality”: are the Atlanta Hawks really in uniform and practicing in the lobby or not? In both lobbies, a communal work table intersects the core and is visually linked by the cameras and video walls on either side of the core. Tenants, colleagues and visitors sit together both virtually and in reality. In addition to informal seating groups, banquettes flank the lobby, giving a more private option for working or grabbing a cup of coffee. This customizable, sociable, ever-changing experience makes the building a new destination for the neighborhood.
To help balance the sense of activity in the space, a ribbon of faceted wood weaves through the project, stitching the two spaces together. Between the wood slats is polished metal mirroring those passing by. This, along with reflective materials in the core and elevator cabs, lets people see themselves and experience the space with one another. The wood ribbon finally emerges on the outside of the building, announcing the renovation and inviting passersby inside to explore. The chevron is also a prominent element of the design team’s complete rebranding of the property and is celebrated in the building’s logo, graphics and collateral.
The intent of the design and material choices was to strip away remnants of multiple previous renovations, create an active and engaging experience and give visitors the chance to be in the moment with the people around them. Whether virtually or actually, the new 101 Marietta Street is a space that must be seen to be believed!