David T. Howard Middle School

SSOE completed the redesign and historic rehabilitation of the empty David T. Howard School, once attended by notable African American luminaries such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., into a modern middle school in the heart of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

The $52 million project, which began in early 2017, includes an administrative wing based on an originally designed element that was never built, a four-level classroom addition, media center, auditorium, music wing, and kitchen and cafeteria.

The design team’s approach focused on the existing plan diagram to ensure the building’s historic features were maintained. The new addition connects to the existing building with elements that keep the existing building’s brick visible and joins all the building’s components.

The school is a four-story concrete frame building with brick cladding. The floor plan is a simple “U” shape with corridors connecting the classroom wings. The main entrances along the bottom of the “U” are also identified by decorative brick and stone details. The existing classroom building reflects the original layout as much as possible, and the new classroom wing consists of core, science, and music classrooms; the kitchen and cafeteria; and an auditorium.

SSOE designed a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC system with 100% outdoor air for the classroom portions of the building, including the historic building. The VRF system allowed the design team to minimize ductwork in the classrooms and maintain the existing high ceilings in the historic classrooms and corridors. Because the VRF outdoor units weigh less than conventional systems, the design team was able to minimize structural modifications to the historic building, saving cost and time. The areas served by VRF are paired with packaged roof top dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) with energy recovery. The new DOAS and VRF HVAC systems designed for the project will save energy over the years to come and contribute to an optimal indoor environmental quality for the students and staff and give each space served the ability to control space environmental conditions.

Kimpton Sylvan Hotel

Originally built in the early 1950s by Atlanta architect James C. Wise, the post-war efficiency apartment building has been restored to its previous mid-century modern style after previous renovations converted the building into senior housing and condominium units. Located near Buckhead Village, the SSOE | Stevens & Wilkinson design team transformed the condominium units into a 216-key hotel that now features a restaurant and bar, courtyard dining, a private pool, and a rooftop lounge.

As part of this historic renovation, the original corridors and circulation cores were maintained, and the 216 guestrooms were configured to closely align with the footprint of the initial 1950’s apartments. The existing single-pane aluminum windows were refurbished, and large openings in the brick façade that had been cut-in for HVAC units were carefully toothed back. The entire exterior received a fresh coat of white paint, with light gray accentuating the horizontal elements of concrete brows and sills that trim the windows. At the rooftop, the previous deck was expanded by converting an abandoned mechanical penthouse into a colorful bar venue with roll-up doors and sweeping views of the Buckhead neighborhood.

The preservation of expansive landscaped areas, dining patios, and secret gardens surround the property, each with substantial hundred-year oak and magnolia trees providing canopy above. The seclusion offers a respite from the bustle of Buckhead, yet the property still engages with the urban fabric through the addition of two grand stairs connecting the sidewalk to the south entrance, which is under an existing concrete canopy. A restaurant occupies the same space as one did through the 1970s, with a new romantic dining patio overlooking East Paces Ferry.

The new porte-cochere on the east façade protects hotel guests’ arrival with a prominent steel and polycarbonate canopy inspired by angled canopies of the mid-century modern era. Guests enter through the original vestibule with new stained-glass windows and are met with an inviting living room area featuring a fireplace and views into the courtyard bar. That “secret garden” provides covered dining beneath a steel canopy and pergola, or intimate seating arrangements interspersed throughout the winding landscape paths.

The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel is an award-winning project for adaptive reuse and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

New Corporate Headquarters

ProMedica Health System, a locally owned, non-profit healthcare organization serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan established in 1986, has completed the renovation and construction of their new corporate headquarters in downtown Toledo, Ohio. The move to downtown’s waterfront entailed the renovation of the vacant historical Edison Steam Plant, renovation of the adjacent former Key Bank building, and construction of a new multi-level parking structure.

In cooperation with HKS, SSOE was the firm of choice to provide full mechanical, electrical, plumbing, technology, and fire protection (MEPT / FP) design services for the two large commercial office structures. Our team of experts carefully evaluated the existing buildings and the historic aspect of each building that needed to be maintained, and provided detailed engineering design for the HVAC and plumbing systems, the Data / Fire / Security systems, the fire suppression systems, and the electrical system, including site lighting.

The existing Key Bank building will house a new YMCA space in the basement level, the Chop House restaurant on the lobby level, and office spaces on floors two, three, and four. The large variety of mixed building use is unique to this type of project but was successfully handled by the design team. SSOE is proud to be a part of this local project that promotes economic growth and urban revitalization. The project was completed in August 2017.

The Charleston Cigar Factory

Historic Rehabilitation

The project is a historic rehabilitation of the Charleston Cigar Factory, a Victorian industrial building built circa 1882 as the Charleston Cotton Mills. In 1903, the plant was leased to the American Cigar Company which operated the factory until 1973.

Mixed-Use Redevelopment

The scope of the project was to rehabilitate the existing 230,000 SF building into a mixed-use development including 50,000 SF of retail restaurant and event spaces, and 180,000 SF of authentic loft office space.

Restoring Appearance

Preservation and rehabilitation efforts focus on restoring the look of the building to its historic appearance while adapting the interior to contemporary usage. This includes the demolition of several large modern additions, removal of brick-infilled windows and inappropriate glazing, restoration of original windows surrounds, and new energy-conserving operable windows that replicate historic construction. At ground level, a retail promenade will invite public interaction with this revitalized Charleston icon.

Flats at Ponce City Market

Adaptive Reuse

SSOE is serving as the lead architect on the residential portion of the historic renovation and adaptive reuse of the Sears, Roebuck & Company building, located on Ponce de Leon in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

Urban Centerpiece

As the largest adaptive reuse project in Atlanta’s history, Ponce City Market will restore 2.1 million square feet of space, creating a vibrant urban centerpiece that combines 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 450,000 square feet office space, and 259 residential units.

Numerous Residential Options

The residential units are a mix of studio, one, two, and three bedroom units with the option of a single or multi-level loft. The entire projects cost is more than $200,000,000.

The project achieved LEED Silver accreditation and “LEED for Homes” certification.


Jesup W. Scott High School Renovation

Originally built in 1913, Jesup W. Scott High School has endured to become an icon in the City of Toledo’s Historical West End District. The SSOE led renovation ensured preservation
of the historic landmark in the Old West End of Toledo, giving the facility a face-lift and adding modern technology to create a modern school in a timeless structure.

The renovation of the facility re-used much of the demolished material from the project, including the quarry-tile flooring. New electrical and mechanical systems, lighting schemes, and low-flow plumbing add to the energy management system providing extra cost savings. Installation of new replacement windows were installed to match the historical aesthetic of the facility. The exterior of the facility was updated with a white reflective roof and the terra cotta stone was cleaned, preserving the early 20th century look.

The renovation not only protects the school’s historical presence and restored to its original grandeur, but also updates the institution for today’s students. This project received a design award from AIA Toledo for the renovation of the Jesup W. Scott High School.

State House Restoration

Historical Integrity

SSOE worked with state officials to renovate the historic South Carolina State House. Intermittently constructed over a period of 50 years and renovated numerous times since its completion, SSOE successfully developed a design strategy that would protect the historical integrity of the building by restoring several areas obscured by prior renovations.

Adapting Existing Drawings

Where current needs demanded further modifications to the structure, unifying elements were created by adapting existing details pulled from archived drawings and newly developed site plans completed by the design team.

In order to address concerns surrounding the building’s current requirements for life safety, the restoration also involved replacing all mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems with top-tier, state-of-the-art designs, while also incorporating all required codes, ADA, seismic (which involved the creation of a base isolation system – the first of its kind east of the Mississippi), and fresh air requirements. Additionally, interior finishes were upgraded to reflect the history and overall brand essence of the State of South Carolina.

“Must-See” Architecture

Hailed as one of the state’s most iconic structures, this 150 year old landmark, is a cultural “must-see” and features key renovations of the Senate and House chambers and gallery, main lobby, legislative meeting room, library mezzanine, Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s office and staff areas, legislative council room and press office.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Administration (Tech Tower) Renovation

Tech Tower Renovation

The Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Administration Building, commonly known as Tech Tower, is an 1888 historic building and focal point of the central campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Uncovering Building Amenities

One of the goals of the construction process was to uncover previously hidden building amenities and highlight them to show historic character.

Scope Of Services

The planning and design work includes the following: 1) Restroom renovations throughout the building; 2) ADA accessible enlarged elevator within the existing building; 3) New MPE / FP systems throughout the building; 4) Reprogramming the garden level, first, second, third and fourth floors, dean’s suites, meeting spaces, corridors, and support spaces. In addition, the design team created shared office support locations on all floors and added a new interior exit stair throughout Floors 1-4.

New Downtown Headquarters

Direction Credit Union selected SSOE as their A/E firm to assist with the design of a new headquarters location in downtown Toledo. Working closely with JLL and SSOE for site selection, Directions chose to move their headquarters in to the Tower on the Maumee, a building on the Ohio Historical Registry. This move involved merging two existing suburban office locations into the headquarters on the 15th, 16th, and 17th floors in the newly redeveloped Tower.

The Direction leadership team’s vision was for a cultural change and creation of a more open and collaborative workplace. The space was planned to create multiple teaming, conference, and collaboration zones, with the elimination of most private offices. They desired spaces that would respond to changing workforce demographics, and one that would allow them to continue to be innovators within their industry. We worked closely with the furniture / change manager, providing employees options and personal choices in their areas, such as varied work spaces, adjustable height work surfaces, adjustable computer monitor arms, personalized user tools, and various types of furnishings to support different employee work and conferencing styles.

The headquarters design includes the renovation of three floor plates. Design features include 360 degree views of downtown, multiple team and collaboration spaces, two work cafés, and a large multi-use boardroom. The interior color scheme reinforces Direction’s branding and interior vision for their new space. This new, cutting edge workplace has the latest technology, wi-fi, and plug and play flexibility for employees and visitors to access. The new Direction’s Credit Union Headquarters will become a workplace destination with an atmosphere of high energy, excitement, and amenities that attracts and retains employees.

The Ellis Hotel

Renovation Design

Our design team completed the renovation design of this historic 1913 hotel in downtown Atlanta. The project revitalizes the once posh Hotel Winecoff into a boutique-style 127-room hotel.

Historic Layout

Maintaining the historic layout, the floor plan incorporates ten rooms per floor. The exterior was restored to it’s original grandeur with cast stone and new historically compatible storefront on the street facades.

Multi-Functional Spaces

The reconstruction of the “air terrace” over the Peachtree Street sidewalk provides a wide, multi-function outdoor dining space adjacent to the food and beverage areas on the second floor.

The Glenn Hotel

Extensive Renovations

Under the threat of demolition only a few years ago, Downtown Atlanta’s historic  Glenn office building reopened as the cosmopolitan  Glenn  Hotel following extensive renovations. The 80-year old, 10-story building has added a new rear entry courtyard and a private second story terrace.

Striking Views

A roof-top patio bar with glass railings was added, taking advantage of the striking views of Midtown Atlanta to the north and Downtown Atlanta to the east.

Compatible Systems

All new systems were provided and windows were replaced with historically compatible, insulated units. A second exit stair was added by cutting through the existing slabs. The limestone and brick facades were cleaned and repointed.