Dating back to the 1890s the Historic Excelsior Mill served as a manufacturing facility for wood shaving packing material. Today, the adaptive reuse has transformed the building into a 30,000 sf single-tenant office space for growing tech. company Cash App. As part of Excelsior Mill’s rebirth, TSW’s landscape architecture studio prepared construction documents for site planning inclusive of exterior layouts, hardscape, and softscape materials.
TSW provided ADA parking and accessible pathways throughout as an integral part of the site plan. Clean lines and geometry accentuate architectural elements and strengthen viewsheds into the space from the right-of-way. Reclaimed machinery from inside of the building was salvaged and repurposed as focal art pieces inviting visitors to stop and ponder the history while also serving as wayfinding that highlights main entrances. A granite fine patio, covered by the 2nd floor of the building, serves as an extension of the interior. The patio flex space ultimately serves as an where inside office meetings can spill outside on warm, sunny days.
Challenges and Opportunities:
- ADA accessibility and site grading. Both an existing arterial roadway and The Mill building were conformed to an existing 5% slope. The Mill did not have any footers and due to the natural sloping of the land there were 4 varying building FFEs that had to be considered. These site constraints resulted in a careful terraced layout, all ADA accessible, which married the building to the public right-of-way.
- Beltline Overlay District. The site is located immediately adjacent to the Atlanta Beltline, an ongoing conversion of 22 miles of unused railroad tracks that circles the core of Atlanta to trails and greenspace. The Atlanta Beltline is an economic catalyst in Atlanta, and as part of the Beltline Overlay District there are code and design appropriateness reviewed for all commercial developments. TSW was tasked with creating a hardscape and planting palette that paid homage to the historic and rustic character of The Mill. This was achieved by using granite fine material in patio spaces, pulling into the exterior steel accents and handrailing elements that were seen inside of the building, and using monocultures of ornamental grasses and native trees to achieve a planting palette that would draw the historic sense of place.
- Achieving the stormwater requirements on site was difficult due to the amount of impervious area and general spatial constraints. As a result, an underground water quality structure was installed at the site’s low point. This underground structure was large and had to fit completely outside of the R.O.W. and in conjunction will new site wall footings and tree rootballs.