Sandy Springs, GA needed a 21st century town square. Though just 14 years old, the city is already the second largest in the Atlanta metro area and has earned a reputation as a great place to live and raise a family. Still, city planners knew it lacked one crucial ingredient: a lively city center where the community could gather for entertainment, dining, shopping, and working.
Planning began in 2012 for a pedestrian-friendly development on a centrally located 14-acre site. Offices, a new city hall, retail, restaurants, a performing arts complex, and parking were arranged around a large public green space to entice residents and families.
As structural engineer, Walter P Moore collaborated with architect Rosser International and general contractor Holder Construction to bring the project to life. Throughout the site, Walter P Moore seamlessly integrated the structure into the architectural motif. To achieve the client’s vision for an elegant and durable exposed structure, we proposed custom steel castings for the structural connections. Carefully scaled, single-pin connections of the structural pipe elements using the Cast Connex system create an elegant structural rhythm that complements the building architecture.
Most park users do not notice that it sits atop a massive 1,600-space, two-level parking deck protected by more than a ½-mile-long perimeter shoring wall. Walter P Moore's experience with numerous deep basement excavations in Atlanta informed our development of a simple and constructible solution for the perimeter shoring wall. We created an innovative cap beam detail to ensure durable and well-waterproofed basement parking. The parking column grid was optimized to provide 45 feet clearance for parking and drive aisles, with a row of double columns along the central spine to protect a walkway that allows families to safely access stairs and elevators.
The performance venue is the heart of the City Springs complex. It includes the Byers Theater, with 1,070 seats in three levels, and an intimate, 8,700-sf Studio Theater, which is a flexible community meeting space and venue for smaller performances. Soundproofing the performance venue amidst a variety of noisy adjacent activities was one of Walter P Moore’s major challenges. Our previous experience with numerous similar venues guided our thinking, leading us to include a spring-mounted floor to support adjacent stairs, an acoustic isolation joint around the perimeter of the performing arts center, and acoustically insulated walls.
Since City Springs opened in 2018, more awards for the city have poured in, including recognition as Georgia’s Best City to Live In, one of the Healthiest Cities in America, and one of the Most Diverse Cities in the United States. The project has also spurred additional development. Nearly 300 apartments and townhomes have been built within walking distance of City Springs, and hotel developers are eying nearby sites. The city recently announced plans to expand its investment in the center by adding more office, ground-floor retail, and at least one hotel. City Springs showcases how Walter P Moore brings value to convert grand visions to reality for both communities and business.