2015 Merit Award
Buckhead Atlanta is a high profile, mixed-use development in Georgia’s capital city. The expansive, 10-acre district is located at the intersection of two of Atlanta’s main arteries, Paces Ferry and Peachtree Roads. Upscale and targeted to luxury retailers, the new district, which has been dubbed the “Rodeo Drive of the South,” is a mix of 1.5 million square feet of luxury retail, restaurants, office space, and residences set within the existing neighborhood of Buckhead Village.
The landscape architect led the design of the streetscape for the entire development. The goal was to make the landscape distinctive and welcoming, with mature trees to give shade, beautiful plantings that celebrate the seasons, and quality materials that identified Buckhead as a special place. Variety, scale, and shade infuse the street level with an energy and vibrancy that are typical of a thriving urban environment.
Diversity in street materials and styles help Buckhead feel like it was built over time and create a sense of discovery. The design features three distinct planting styles, 28 container options, multiple planter curb treatments, and a mix of paving materials. Sidewalks feature a combination of granite, basalt, and concrete to create variety and durability. In Buckhead’s central road and plaza space, the road surface is designed using unit paving to evoke the timelessness of cobblestone paving.
The lush plantings beneath the trees and along the sidewalk are more like gardens than streetscape plantings in their complexity and design, and they make Buckhead distinctive. The gardens create a soft buffer between strolling pedestrians and cars driving into the neighborhood. Three planting styles for parkway garden spaces introduce variety and texture throughout the development.
Subtle modifications to the City of Atlanta’s standard street requirements helped create a more pedestrian-scaled environment. To make streets feel less exposed to traffic and cars, Hoerr Schaudt advocated for a maximum pedestrian right of way. Buckhead’s streets are narrow and the sidewalk’s street-side planters are as wide as possible to buffer people from vehicles. The scale of mature trees, limbed high to allow for visibility to retail signage and identity, help people walking along the sidewalk feel more secure and welcome.
Project Team: Balfour Beatty; Gensler; Irrigation Consultant Services; Pappageorge Haymes Partners; Pine & Swallow Environmental; Ruppert Landscape; Select Trees; Smallwood Reynolds Stewart