Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Atlanta History Center in Georgia by Meridian 105 Architecture
November 20th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Meridian 105 Architecture
The Atlanta History Center project is a partial interior renovation of the existing building. The building’s exterior is addressed with the intent of maintaining a large portion of the current structure while achieving a transformation of image. The History Center fulfills a dual purpose, operating as a traditional museum and exhibit space on the mission of the Historical Society, and acting as a revenue generating event space. The current building, characterized by corridor-style circulation and partitioned rooms challenges the use of each function, creating a circulation driven by destination rather than exploration. Because of the shortcomings of the original design, the existing history center does not support the mission and revenue goals of the historical society. This project addresses this problem.
The transformed History Center plan is defined by a flexible, centralized space, an orientation point and ‘home base’ to the entire building. This room is the Grand Gallery (the Howell & Nicholson galleries), energized by natural light and movement, it is the museum’s focal point, on axis with the building’s entry, visible from the curb side drop-off, and directly accessible from each of the permanent exhibits. The existing physical separation between the primary building entry and ballroom is resolved by the flexibility and openness of the plan, allowing for a mixed use of exhibit and pre-function area. The north-south corridor presently dividing the building in half is eliminated, replaced with a central, animated space where visitors are encouraged to ‘meander’ and explore exhibits at their own pace.
With an open floor plan and consequential increase in usable square footage, the diversity between traveling exhibits is easily accommodated. The plan is informal in nature and less restrictive of circulation, attributes favorable to resolving the museum’s shortcoming of usable event pre-function space. Provided are a variety of areas for gathering and mingling, offering event goers the option to visit exhibits, meet in the grand entry, view the grounds from the overlook, and shop at the bookstore.
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