flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

Extreme conversion: Atlanta turns high-rise office building into high school

Extreme conversion: Atlanta turns high-rise office building into high school

Formerly occupied by IBM, the 11-story Lakeside building is the new home for North Atlanta High School.


By BD+C Staff | February 5, 2014
The centerpiece of the school is the 11-story Lakeside building, which was built
The centerpiece of the school is the 11-story Lakeside building, which was built in 1977. Photo courtesy Atlanta Public Schools

With an 11-story former IBM office building, a 9-story annex, and 56 acres of land, architecture firm Cooper Carry created a new high school for 2,350 students in north Atlanta. 

The centerpiece of the school is the 11-story Lakeside building, which was originally built in 1977 by Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates. The building now houses administrative offices, a media center, a cafeteria, and academic classrooms, according to ArtsATL.

The existing parking deck remains, though the parking lots adjacent to the annex building were made into sports fields. The Building Team, which also included Collins Cooper Carusi Architects and Paul Cheeks Architects, decided to demolish the annex and build a new structure to house a 600-seat main theater, a black box theater, music rooms, a 2,100-seat gym, and an auxiliary gym.

Although the Lakeside building retains many signs of its original purpose, like the spacious main lobby with its large columns and retro spiral staircase, the glassed-in main office makes the building's new status as a school clear. The design team played on the building's strengths, especially the floor-to-ceiling windows, which give students and teachers breathtaking views of the forested surroundings. From inside the building, one can see over the treetops to the high-rises around the Cobb Galleria on one side; on the other, they can see downtown Atlanta, Midtown, and Buckhead.

The school's interior is in large part dictated by Atlanta Public Schools' requirements for construction materials, according to ArtsATL. Linoleum floors, stainless steel railings, and drop ceilings are consistent throughout. However, Cooper Carry did play with the color palette and added custom details. 

Each grade occupies two stories connected by one large stairway. With a signature color for each grade, visitors can immediately determine where they are in the building. In the central spaces, some of the concrete structure remains exposed and special lights highlight some of the building's architectural features.

The new Hillside building is only two stories, but it stretches over horizontally for over 400 feet. To link the buildings with the parking deck, the architects conceived "Warrior Way," named as an homage to the school's mascot. This low building begins at the parking deck, so when students either drive up or are dropped off, they can immediately go inside. Warrior Way connects the cafeteria in the Lakeside building to the auditorium, gymnasium, and bus drop-off loop at the far end of the Hillside building. In this way, it provides a central axis for the campus. It provides views of the lake between the two buildings, and an outdoor plaza can be accessed from Warrior Way as well.

Here is a photo walkthrough of the building:


The 11-story Lakeside building is the center of the campus.

 


Warrior Way links the Lakeside and the Hillside buildings, and opens up onto an outdoor plaza that can be used for assemblies and socializing.

 


The new Hillside annex is connected to the Lakeside building by a two-story glass atrium.

 


Floor-to-ceiling windows give amazing views of the surrounding property and of the city of Atlanta.

 


Inside the school, public spaces are marked by the color red. 

 


Every grade has two floors with a signature color; blue marks the two floors housing the 12th grade students.

 


Concrete and glass are used to unify all of the structures on the campus.

 


Cross-section depicts the color coding scheme for the high-rise high school

Related Stories

Concrete Technology | Jun 17, 2024

MIT researchers are working on a way to use concrete as an electric battery

Researchers at MIT have developed a concrete mixture that can store electrical energy. The researchers say the mixture of water, cement, and carbon black could be used for building foundations and street paving.

75 Top Building Products | Apr 22, 2024

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2024

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2024 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Jan 17, 2024

Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction

This continuing education course, by Walter P Moore's Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.

Concrete | Jan 12, 2024

Sustainable concrete reduces carbon emissions by at least 30%

Designed by Holcim, a building materials supplier, ECOPact offers a sustainable concrete alternative that not only meets, but exceeds the properties of standard concrete.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 13, 2023

75 top building products for 2023

From a bladeless rooftop wind energy system, to a troffer light fixture with built-in continuous visible light disinfection, innovation is plentiful in Building Design+Construction's annual 75 Top Products report. 

Regulations | Oct 4, 2023

New York adopts emissions limits on concrete

New York State recently adopted emissions limits on concrete used for state-funded public building and transportation projects. It is the first state initiative in the U.S. to enact concrete emissions limits on projects undertaken by all agencies, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Construction Costs | Sep 28, 2023

U.S. construction market moves toward building material price stabilization

The newly released Quarterly Construction Cost Insights Report for Q3 2023 from Gordian reveals material costs remain high compared to prior years, but there is a move towards price stabilization for building and construction materials after years of significant fluctuations. In this report, top industry experts from Gordian, as well as from Gilbane, McCarthy Building Companies, and DPR Construction weigh in on the overall trends seen for construction material costs, and offer innovative solutions to navigate this terrain.

Engineers | Sep 15, 2023

NIST investigation of Champlain Towers South collapse indicates no sinkhole

Investigators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) say they have found no evidence of underground voids on the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse, according to a new NIST report. The team of investigators have studied the site’s subsurface conditions to determine if sinkholes or excessive settling of the pile foundations might have caused the collapse. 

Concrete | Jul 19, 2023

Public policy hindering widespread adoption of sustainable concrete

Researchers are making significant strides in reducing embedded carbon in concrete, but public policies have been slow to adopt this more sustainable option.

3D Printing | Jun 20, 2023

World's largest 3D-printed building completed in Florida

Printed Farms, known for completing Florida’s first permitted 3D-printed house in Tallahassee, announces the completion of the world’s largest 3D-printed building: a luxury horse barn.

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category




halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021