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Atlanta Cities Culture The Moves

Spaces: Atlanta buildings designed by Black architects

EL Johnson Feb 22

Atlanta has been on the map for some years now, from being an epicenter for hip-hop (and the music industry at large), to being the new Hollywood. Atlanta has also attracted large corporations like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, State Farm, and potentially Amazon to the area. With this type of economic growth comes real estate development, and Atlanta is seeing a boom in that department. There have been several Black-owned architecture firms that have played important roles in the design of of Atlanta’s new built image.

So we’re going to highlight a few, (Thanks for Atlanta Curbed) presented below in no particular order.

Center for Civil and Human Rights

Design Lead: Phil Freelon (Freelon and Associates; now with Perkins+Will)

Project Lead Architect: Marc Johnson (HOK; now with Fitzgerald Collaborative Group)


Rich with symbolism, this 42,000-square-foot facility erected on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company (which operates the World of Coca-Cola next door) is among the more impressive architectural works completed anywhere in Atlanta in recent memory.

Working in close collaboration with Atlanta’s Marc Johnson, internationally recognized architect Phil Freelon, then of Durham, North Carolina-based Freelon and Associates, led design of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at downtown’s Pemberton Place.


The center’s angled walls represent protective hands, and the facade—clad with Trespa Meteon Metallics—creates “the illusion of many tones, akin to skin and representing different nationalities,” per the CCHR.

The $69 million facility opened at the cusp of Centennial Olympic Park in 2014, and it’s since become a major draw for Atlanta’s burgeoning tourism district.

Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building

Robert L. Brown Associates


Founded by Robert L. Brown in 1984, the R.L. Brown & Associates firm designed this 76,000-square-foot performing arts center at Morehouse College to meet the academic mission of the department of music.

The same firm served as associate architects on downtown’s World of Coca-Cola (below), a four-story, LEED Gold certified museum with adjacent pavilion and parking deck.

Atlanta Botanical Garden parking

JW Robinson & Associates (with Jova Daniels Busby)


Atlantans in recent years have developed a hate-hate relationship with the city’s many vibrancy-killing parking decks, and for good reason. But this is no ordinary garage.

Designed by JW Robinson, a multigenerational firm now led by Jeffrey Robinson, this seven-story structure with green flourishes helped solve parking issues at Atlanta’s premier green space, Piedmont Park, from which it’s practically invisible.

The $14 million project fits nearly 800 vehicles and won the 2011 American Institute of Architects Citation Design Award.

The same firm designed Sweet Auburn’s $48 million Renaissance Walk project (a joint venture with Praxis 3, pictured below).


The six-story residential structure incorporated three historically significant buildings and took home the 2009 Honor Award from the South Atlantic Region of the American Institute of Architects for Design Excellence.

New Horizon Sanctuary, Ebenezer Baptist Church

Stanley Love-Stanley


Ebenezer Baptist Church in Sweet Auburn was the home church of Martin Luther King, Jr. When the church elected to build a large new facility across the street from the historic sanctuary, they looked no further than local firm Stanley Love-Stanley.

One of the foremost African-American-led architecture firms in Atlanta, the husband-and-wife duo created a soaring sanctuary to seat 1,600 worshipers. The building and its bell tower fuse modern form, African symbolism, and classic church design.


Stanley Love-Stanley has designed numerous religious spaces across the city. Another one of note is the Lyke House Catholic Student Center at Atlanta University Center. The boxy structure references the Church of St. George in Ethiopia.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Landside Modernization

Chasm Architecture (with HOK and SLS)


As part of a joint venture, Chasm Architecture is working on the under-construction modernization of arrivals and departures at Hartsfield-Jackson. New sweeping glass canopies will mark the entrance to the north and south terminals, providing protection to passengers from the elements.

The project isn’t the first the firm has undertaken at the airport over the years.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Goode van Slyke Architecture (with HOK, tvsdesign, and Stanley Beaman & Sears)


A design task of gargantuan proportions, Mercedes-Benz Stadium required the talents of many top designers locally and nationally. Goode van Slyke Architecture, a longtime fixture in Atlanta, was part of the multi-year project.


Headquartered less than two miles from the stadium, the firm has worked on many projects throughout the city.

via Curbed Atlanta

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EL Johnson

Creative Problem Solver, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Billion Or Bust Media