The 50 year old mixed use development is located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta and designed in collaboration with Lord Aeck Sargent. Beyer Blinder Belle began working on the project in 2017 and completed it in several phases which included demolishing the former mall, the addition of two new office buildings, a food hall and cinema, the expansion of existing retail opportunities, and the creation of new pedestrian connections.
Largely complete by 1972, Colony Square offered residential, commercial, and recreational uses. Its transformation brings retail and dining closer to the street while inviting the public into the previously insular site. This new site aims to become “Midtown’s Living Room,” a cultural and entertainment destination within the commercial, residential, and arts districts, with new apertures, a smoother grade throughout, and improved access to nature.
The project’s new pathways are punctuated by outdoor areas, including The Plaza, located at the heart of the site. The 10,000 sq ft green space provides an open-air hub and can accommodate up to 300 people with coronavirus safety precautions in place, and up to 1,000 people when social distancing is not required.
The development’s former shopping mall impeded movement through the site, offered low retail visibility, and contributed to a separation of uses and users. Demolition of the concourse unlocked potential for engaging new public space as well as a new 58,000 sq ft office building and improved pedestrian focused retail spaces.
New canopies pull restaurants and shops out from the bases of the historic towers and, along Colony Square’s western side and southern side, fully redesigned site entrances invite the public in.
The Grove, a 10,000 sq ft park, activates a previously overlooked pedestrian link between Colony Square and 14th Street. The park improves overall site permeability and enhances the appeal of an existing public space. It also offers access to a new hospitality focused structure, which houses a luxury dine-in movie theatre and Politan Row, a 20,000 sq ft food hall. The cladding echoes Colony Square’s original architecture.
At the northern corner of the site, a 135,000 sq ft office building features a primarily glass exterior, offering a lighter effect than that of the historic concrete. The geometry of the new office buildings is inspired by the vertical lines and gridded window modules of the historic structures.