Case Study: Luxury Living in Atlanta’s Buckhead District
- Jul 28, 2008
John Williams and Clark Butler, co-founders of Atlanta-based City Centre Properties LLC, discuss The Mansion on Peachtree, the first ultra-luxury hotel and residential development in Atlanta.Name of Project:The Mansion on Peachtree, a Rosewood Hotel & ResidenceLocation:Atlanta’s Buckhead DistrictType of project:The Mansion on Peachtree, which opened May 2008, combines 45 residences, including three private garden villas, with a 127-room luxury hotel in an eight-sided, 42-story tower designed by acclaimed Robert A.M. Stern Architects. It features the world-exclusive 29 Spa by Lydia Mondavi, which opened in May. Craft Atlanta by renowned Chef Tom Colicchio is opening this fall.Overall site size:1.63 acres; 600,000 square feet, all-inclusiveDeveloper:City Centre Properties LLC Architect:Robert A.M Stern Architects LLPContractor:Holder ConstructionFinancing: I-Star Financial, New York and Williams Realty Advisors Fund 1, AtlantaMHN: What were the aesthetic and functional design objectives of The Mansion?City Centre: The Mansion’s architecture scheme is elegant and timeless. The slender eight-sided cast-stone 42-story tower is designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects LLP. Milton Pate Architects of Atlanta served as architect-of-record. While The Mansion is a high-rise development offering an array of amenities and services, it was specifically designed to provide an intimate feeling of living in an estate home. Situated around a courtyard boasting a beautiful English garden, entrances are elegant and welcoming, and the lobby functions as a first “living room,” complete with a grand staircase. Residences are located between floors 16 to 42, for maximum enjoyment of panoramic city and woodland views. Ranging in size from approximately 2,500 to 8,700 sq. ft. with ceilings up to 12 ft. high, The Mansion offers both designer-ready and turnkey homes. MHN: Describe the client’s target demographic. City Centre: The Mansion on Peachtree offers units ranging in price from $2.5 to $12.5 million. The private villas are popular for buyers with smaller children. Geographically, some owners are Atlanta-based, while others are international and view The Mansion as a second, third or fourth home. Many buyers are art enthusiasts and see The Mansion’s expansive residences and high ceilings as ideal for showcasing their collections. MHN: How does the architecture and design of this project contribute to the competitiveness in the marketplace? City Centre: The Mansion is designed to give its buyers many options in customizing their homes. One key feature is the ability to combine units. For example, a buyer can purchase one floor and half of the one above or below, then add a staircase or elevator in between. The tall ceiling heights and large windows are also selling points. Harrison Design Associates has created a series of comprehensive residential layouts for future homeowners to better visualize the space. MHN: Describe the overall housing trends that this project is affecting.City Centre: The Buckhead area of Atlanta has long been home to the city’s wealthiest people. The Mansion offers an “effortless lifestyle,” featuring Rosewood’s five-star caliber of service. The Mansion is the first to offer a personalized butler program for fulfilling every resident’s need, including dog-walking services.Finally, there is a limited number of both residences and hotel rooms at The Mansion on Peachtree. This provides an intimate atmosphere with the feeling of exclusivity.MHN: What design features make this project stand apart from others in the market? City Centre: In addition to some of the design features already described, The Mansion features state-of-the-art technology throughout. A sampling includes:• Biometric keyless entry system for residents. They simply swipe a valid fingerprint across the sensor to access their private residents’ elevator and home.• VisionArt. Inside The Mansion’s hotel rooms and suites, flat-screen televisions feature VisionArt, a screen of art that retracts via remote control to unveil the television • Fitness Suite. The Mansion’s 4,500-sq.-ft. fitness center features a Technogym Fitness Suite, the first of its kind in Atlanta, that features customized iPod docking units in aerobic equipment.The Mansion also offers one of the most expansive spas in the country. 29 Spa is 15,000 sq. ft. and offers 14 private treatment rooms, spacious saunas, private baths and peaceful massage and meditation areas. Additionally, residents can enjoy the property’s indoor 25-meter, climate-controlled lap pool with comfortable loungers.MHN: Describe any innovative materials and construction methods. City Centre: All of the hotel floors were poured as post-tensioned concrete. This allowed the hotel to maintain higher ceilings in the guestrooms with a lower floor-to floor height because there were no concrete beams needed. The residence and amenity floors are conventional concrete. Since they had higher floor-to-floor heights, concrete beams could be used without compromising potential ceiling heights. In many instances on the amenity floors, conventional slabs were used with post-tensioned long-span beams. Additionally, the building was constructed with precast skin. Making the skin with precast panels means that the building is watertight after a minimal number of trades (precast, window, caulk). This enabled interior trade work to begin faster.On the exterior windows, the glass assembly is thicker to reduce the amount of noise transmitted from the exterior. Concrete slabs are also purposefully thicker to reduce noise transmission between floors. On all stucco surfaces, Dow Corning’s AllGuard silicone elastomeric coating was painted onto the stucco. This coating is flexible and can move and expand with the stucco, as well as “span” over cracks in the stucco, maintaining the integrity of the skin and reducing the chance of any leaks. A “smart room” technology, Inncom, is featured in the hotel rooms. The doorbell talks to the dimming system, which talks to the HVAC fan coil unit, which communicates to the infrared sensor. The system can dial down the temperature based upon time and door strikes and raise it again automatically in the morning. Each guestroom’s temperature can be monitored and modified by building engineering.MHN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?City Centre: The Mansion’s intimate design and amenities are enhanced by personalized services. Residents have access to the property’s expertly trained team of butlers, who are available around-the-clock.