In association with Stanley, Love-Stanley, P.C., Smith Dalia Architects, and McAfee3, CGD has completed and celebrated the opening of three new libraries in Fulton County, Georgia over the past year and a half. The libraries, Metropolitan Branch, Southeast Atlanta Branch, and South Fulton Branch, have combined for numerous design awards. Each branch sits on a unique site and serves a distinctive neighborhood, thus an individual design approach was taken to all three.
The Metropolitan Branch (pictured) provides ample outdoor public grounds to support library programs and community events. Four freestanding Doric columns that once supported a church portico formerly on the site give the outdoor space a subtle boundary and function as dramatic and highly visible place markers. A transparent and contemporary exterior draws patrons in from the outdoor space to the light and playful interior space.
The Southeast Branch has a colorful interior scheme that activates the space. Ceiling clouds and floor material changes designate and get a cozy feel to what would otherwise be reading areas lost in the middle of open floor space. Large glass panels separating meeting rooms from the large circulation area provide acoustic privacy while maintaining an open feel throughout the space. Outside, organized simple geometric forms of varying materials give the overall edifice an appropriately playful yet bookish feel.
The South Fulton Branch is on a site where extensive efforts were made to preserve a ‘wooded backyard’. Design efforts focused on the dense area of trees on the site; a long, curved floor to ceiling storefront window wall stretches across the back of the collections area, affording patrons an alcove that overlooks the trees. The woodland themed is not forgotten within the library; an expansive custom wall covering that features an array of animals enlivens the children’s reading area. Further, each end panel on every bookshelf displays a large tree end grain graphic.
In August 2012, Wren High School, the pride of Piedmont, South Carolina, opened the doors to a dynamic new entry space, administrative area, and student commons area. CGD provided the design for transforming a once non-descript pick-up and drop-off plaza and covered walkway into an inviting entry experience. An aged, insipid space outside the nearby gymnasium gained new life as a student commons, complete with custom trophy cases and ribbony multicolored ceiling panels.
CGD’s relationship with Anderson School District 1 and Wren High School carries on today with the renovation and expansion of aging athletic facilities. This undertaking includes a new fieldhouse for four athletic teams, four new tennis courts, and new football concessions and restroom facilities. Enhancements will also include additional football stadium parking, upgraded accessibility, and landscaping. These improvements all serve to better consolidate Wren’s athletics into one area. Establishing lasting relationships with clients has long been a hallmark of CGD’s approach to design; these projects are a testament to such an approach and the steady enhancement of a campus over time.
From the last TBT project (Ambler Elementary), go north through Pumpkintown, then take Scenic Highway 11 west just across the lake into Oconee County. Wind down and past roads with names that include the words hollow, whippoorwill, Boone, and ridge.
The destination, Devil’s Fork State Park, is a remote state park along the southern banks of Lake Jocassee. Completed in 1991, CGD provided design services for the updated vernacular cabins and shelters throughout the park. Featuring natural materials that meld into the sylvan backdrop and large screened porches that afford views of the water and surrounding hills, the secluded lakeside villas and covered shelters are still in use to this day.