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Clouds In a Box

Atlanta, Georgia

The existing building is typical of Atlanta’s Castleberry neighborhood. It’s a long, narrow, two story, 5,000 square foot warehouse with windows on the front and back. Due to the lot-line to lot-line construction there are no windows on either side, which creates a dark interior.

When the clients bought this building, it was almost unlivable. The first thing they did was create a live/work space in the front third of the building with an office on the ground floor and an open loft living space above

After living with this arrangement for a few years they decided their living space was too small and didn’t give them enough privacy when they had overnight guests. They wanted to expand into the back two thirds of the building with a guest bedroom and new primary suite. They also asked for roof access for a future deck, and an atrium to introduce light into the interior of the building. The budget was a modest $90 square foot.

The challenge in most renovations is to squeeze a lot of rooms into a small space. We had the opposite problem on this project. We had too much space. The program would only fill half of the available space, and to have access to daylight the new rooms would have to be located at the opposite end of the building. This would leave a large, dark, useless space in the middle of the building. Adding a typical atrium and skylights would have relieved the darkness, but the space would still feel empty and functionless.

What we ended up with is an open first floor that fills many of the functions a backyard might (gatherings, playing games, lingering in the sun etc.), with a series of pods floating above it like clouds. The whole arrangement is lit by a series of new skylights.

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