Intertwining Opposing Perspectives: An Interpretive Center in Cabbagetown, Atlanta

If we are to revitalize the city of Atlanta on the neighborhood scale, historic landmark districts like Cabbagetown must preserve their storied community history while simultaneously promoting sustainable ecological, social and cultural growth. The Cabbagetown Interpretive Center is a complex program incorporating housing, gallery space, natural systems and areas of interaction for the community. The project provides a strategic point of entry into the physical and cultural history of the community.

The dialectical relationship between housing and interpretive center has become the conceptual hinge of the project.  Housing can be read as a place of stopping, sitting, staying—encouraging a particular type of occupation that exists over a longer stretch of time.  The interpretive center encourages movement through galleries, temporary activities and repeated short visits.  The flow of the architecture is one of uniformity where things tend to stay in place vs. dynamic forces of flux and change over time.

Both modes of occupation are important and intertwined within the project.  Housing and museums are not discreet entities but rather interlock, influence, and embrace each other.  This moves toward a representation of the dialectic in which one thing cannot exist in isolation from another.  It is a both/and reading of the project in which housing and interpretive center are given equal weight rather than a hierarchy in which one element dominates the other.

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