Deference is a project consisting of a mixed used building housing a culinary center and college dormitories for students of the Savannah College of Art and Design. The building is located on the north side of Midtown in Atlanta, GA, neighboring the existing SCAD building and Peachtree Christian Church. The direct adjacency and a desire of dialog with an important historical building, coupled with a need for easy circulation and a substantial program became the factors that influenced the design approach.
Design ChallengeThe main design challenge of this project was to create a building that responded to the urban fabric and becoming a node for the community, while respecting an adjacent religious structure and a protected historical building. This was achieved through an understanding of the scales and proportions of the church and implementing them into the proportions of the new building. This was further explored by the selection of materials used in the building, all of which were based on materials used in the church. These decisions, coupled with the careful placement of the building in the site, creates a respectful dialogue between the two buildings while still letting the project house all of its functions effortlessly.
Physical ContextWhile the design challenge was to create a respectful dialogue between the exiting church and the building, the site provided challenges regarding access to the site and a seamless connection with the existing SCAD building. Effortless circulation between the several points of entry was achieved by creating a plinth that elevated the site and provided circulation between the main entry, the existing SCAD building and the back of the church. This plinth provided optimal underground space for parking while becoming a sculpture garden designed for SCAD's sculpture program, while creating ample space for gardens and community meeting points. The frosted glass skin system used throughout the building acs as a reflective surface, displaying the ever-changing surrounding environments. The use of different scales in the materials and fenestration creates the notion of a building smaller than it truly is.