The client for this home wanted a modern, low maintenance design with a flat roof system and stucco exterior. The home is located in an existing suburb of North Atlanta among other contemporary homes, avoiding conflicts of style.
The site for this project is ideal for a drive-under garage. The front yard is level to the front yard setback line, then drops fourteen feet straight down.
The back yard had been graded level before construction, perfect for a driveway turnaround. Therefore, we set the Garage and Guest Suite into the side of the hill, stacked the public spaces above on the First Floor (level with the street) and put all of the bedrooms upstairs.
The result is a play on floating rectilinear solids anchored to the ground at the rear with a cylindrical stair tower. The use of real cement stucco gives us the design flexibility to accomplish this. The plumbing and utility core is placed in the center of the house with the stairway attached to the back of the house. This minimizes the circulation space and gives us a rear entry basement foyer. The original design of the stair tower is topped with a circular skylight to add a greater feeling of spaciousness, creating a three-story light well above the rear entry.
Stacking spaces in this way and simplifying the trim that comes with more traditional homes adds the advantage of reducing construction cost. Windows are white PVC casements, again for low maintenance. Attic ventilation is achieved by using extra-deep open web roof trusses. The roof has a very slight pitch for drainage. Again, material and labor is saved, compared to framing and lumber required for a traditional steep roof pitch.
Recent owners of the house installed modern light fixtures, furniture, and introduced bold new colors. One interesting feature is a long vertical string of light fixtures hanging in the light well of the rear foyer.
There is a garden in the front yard, hidden by topography from direct street view. Due the nature of the site, there is little opportunity for privacy from the front, but landscape design offers this respite. A garden walkway begins, left of the front entrance, past a stacked stone waterfall with a pond. Continuing through the garden to the left, one reaches a completely private sitting area sunk below street grade and surrounded by a stone wall, creating a wonderful retreat, hardly visible from the lane.