The Atlanta BeltLine has announced the selection of a team led by the Atlanta office of Perkins + Will and New York firm James Corner Field Operations to design the 22-mile corridor encircling intown Atlanta. The team will be responsible for creating the look and its comprehensive design standards, which will be the BeltLine’s playbook throughout its multi-year development.
Perkins + Will’s team is led by a trio who know Atlanta well: landscape architect Leo Alvarez, architect John Threadgill and urban designer Ryan Gravel, whose graduate thesis is the basis of the BeltLine project. James Corner Field Operations recently completed the design of the High Line in New York City, one of the most innovative urban park projects in the United States. Some 19 firms will be involved.
The project’s scope is huge. According to the statement issued today, it encompasses civil and structural engineering, surveys, utilities, streetscapes, landscape design, trails, transit, stations, bridges, tunnels, historic preservation, public art locations and signage. The team will also define the physical boundaries of the corridor, identify engineering constraints and design functional elements such as trash receptacles.
Also huge: the prestige of this plum commission and the stakes. The $2.8 billion BeltLine project will impact 45 neighborhoods. If successful, it will be transformative in terms of transportation, park and recreational space, residential and commercial development and public art. The team’s task, as BeltLine President and CEO Brian Leary said, is nothing less than “building the BeltLine’s foundation.”