MMA led the design of an inspired new residential life tower on the Atlanta campus of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). Partnered with Clayco, BatesForum, and SCAD Design Group, the design-build team created a new home for 593 students consisting of suites, pods, and apartments. Floating on the 14th floor, a cantilevered event space provides a unique community gathering space for 300 people with stunning views of Atlanta. Catering to the inspirational space needs of SCAD’s creative student body, amenities include top and second floor roof decks, a dramatic 3-story entrance lounge showcasing art installations, and a coffee bar with ample seating for study.
The layout of the new hall is efficient and elegant, conscious of creating the most impactful design aesthetic with economy in mind. A precast structural system was selected early on for its cost effectiveness and speed of construction. The team worked with the precast contractor, Metromont, to optimize the building height based on precast construction methods and designed a modular system of vertical stripe patterns that playfully shift across the elevations. The precast is highly contrasted with two cantilevered steal constructed metal box forms at the base and top to express community spaces.
Expanding the Atlanta campus presence in a creative and impactful way was a priority goal for the project. SCAD purchased a sliver of land heavily wooded on a very steep rocky slope adjacent to HWY 75. Most would not see this a viable site for this amount of program, but SCAD’s vision and the design team’s creativity turned the land into a unique pedestrian connection to the nearby SCAD academic building. In addition, the new hall entrance experience is lined with terraced outdoor spaces and the interior entrance lounge links three stories up to access SCAD Spring House, setting the stage for future campus development.
Passion + Perspective
Creatively, this team came up with a great design for a less than desirable site. They came up with the right program, met accessibility concerns, and created an outstanding project that met the needs of SCAD.
- Steve Street
Vice President of Institutional, Clayco