Case study design: Atlanta History Museum

The landscape surrounding the Museum of History at the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, Georgia, was designed by the author as an illustration of the use of regional plant communities as a basis for design, in collaboration with landscape architect Gary

Gullatte. The majority of trees and shrubs were planted in the autumn of 1993; the herbaceous layer was planted in the spring of 1994.

In the inventory process, several distinctly different environments were identified, each suggesting a different Georgia piedmont plant community or successional stage as a model. In summary, these were categorised as follows.

1 Roadsides and ‘edge of the woods’ zones along the east entrance driveway leading to

the museum.

2 An exposed, well-drained slope along the east fagade of the building, both to the right

and the left of a granite-paved entrance courtyard, with existing high canopied pines and oaks remaining in part of the area.

3 A partially canopied drainage swale in a depression between the front entrance drive

and the adjacent street.

4 A circular, curbed area in the sunny granitepaved courtyard in front of the entrance

foyer.

After the development of a mass/space plan, these different areas were translated into various plant community groupings.