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Best New Building

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One strains to think of the best overall building constructed in the last year, as most of the new towers were remarkably banal. Atlanta's hometown architecture firm -- Lord, Aeck and Sargent -- has recently pursued some innovative designs. The firm has just completed the HELEN M. ADERHOLD LEARNING CENTER for Georgia State University. Located on Luckie Street in the historic Fairlie-Poplar District, the new five-story classroom building is a compatible addition to the neighborhood, despite the grumblings of local preservationists who fought against the demolition of some older structures on the block. The facade reveals multiple layers, which complement the historic setting while asserting the new building's presence -- conventional brick is "peeled away" at openings to reveal a glossy metal skin. In addition, kudos for the pedestrian-friendly arcade and providing new street-level business spaces. The interior is less successful with its excessive and dizzying array of acoustic ceiling tile -- seemingly a concession to budget cuts.

65 Luckie St.

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