To solve this dilemma, Atlanta-based architect Robert M. Cain came up with a modern home design that included a private bridge and other innovative features on a piece of McClendon Street property — once deemed “unusable” — that no one else would touch for decades. .
The Lake Claire project is among the residential and commercial properties that will be featured at the 2023 Atlanta Design Festival! The architecture tour, scheduled from 10am to 4pm on October 21 and 22. A ticket for the Atlanta tour costs $45, while the Serenbe tour with four locations on October 15 costs $25.
Ma! Urbanize Atlanta officials provided a preview of Cain’s project this week, showing how the steel-clad, 2,400-square-foot home was assembled tucked away in plain sight east of Clear Lake Park.
A small stream flows through the quarter-acre site. Transit difficulties kept the land undeveloped until construction began in 2019, even though the property was registered as legal record in the area’s original zoning, Cain said.
The design and construction of the bridge must comply with City of Atlanta watershed management regulations and Georgia Department of Environmental Protection standards.
Making matters more complicated, according to Cain, all areas of the site within the zoning setbacks were within 25-, 50- and 75-foot riverbed buffers — that is, parts of the site where development would normally be restricted. With “significant judicial involvement,” the house was built entirely within the stream’s buffers, according to Cain.
These barriers dictate that the two-story house be long and linear on its hill.
“Fortunately, the east-west orientation of the house is ideal for our southern climate, and the design responds with large, south-facing windows: ideal for daylight and natural ventilation,” Cain wrote in the project summary.
“Corten steel siding meets the owner’s demand for low-maintenance exterior materials,” Cain continues, “and photovoltaics (solar panels) on the roof significantly reduce energy costs.”
Inside, the garage level includes a two-story soaring living room with attached dining and kitchen areas. Floating stairs lead to three bedrooms, a home office and other private spaces.
Cain points out that invasive plant species have been removed (English ivy is clearly a problem in the “before” photos) and replaced with native plantings around the property. Cisterns behind the house now collect runoff rainwater and provide water for irrigation.
For more context, here’s a before/after comparison of the McClendon Street property in 2018 versus today.