veil and void : an adaptive reuse design, atl
georgia institute of technology, atlanta, usa
prof. david yocum, 
spring 2020

The project deals with the revitalization of the existing ‘HL green building’ with a new fabric of urban programs creating a sense of community but keeping in check its carbon emission in the process. The main concept of this design is to create an open and free-flowing circulation within its rigid existing facade by introducing an open courtyard. In addition to forming a space for social interaction, the open courtyard space intertwines various programs creating a seamless visual and physical connections between the exterior and interior spaces.

The central courtyard space acts as the breathing node connecting various programs and this organic space which is formed runs across levels naturally ventilating throughout the building. The primary circulation includes two massive ramps connecting the basement and mezzanine, which is both utilitarian and function. A series of external stairs are placed around the open court space to imbibe the nature of its surroundings and provide a breakout space for its users during circulation.

the void - central courtyard along mlk drive

existing building - peachtree and mlk drive int.

proposed building - peachtree and mlk drive int.

existing building - mlk drive and broad st int.

proposed building - mlk drive and broad st int.

open market in first floor

Typical CMU block

Flipping the profile

Perforated side for 

reusing cmu as screens in cafe


cafe space in basement

brick wall composite

4400 bricks

260 cmus

brick screen

110 bricks

existing brick wall

proposed brick wall


brick wall composite - 2 nos

4 brick walls

equivalent to 8 brick screens of same dimension

reusing existing bricks as screen in the first floor

mezzanine level

concrete panels reused as roofing system


vertical courtyard slit

A series of sections and elevations portrays the growth of open courtyard intertwining various programs at different levels and it becomes an avenue for social interactions.

First floor plan // Level: 0’ 0”

Basement plan // Level: -12’ 0”

Mezzanine floor plan // Level: +12’ 0”

Third floor plan // Level: +22’ 0”

Fourth floor plan // Level: +34’ 0”

Fifth floor plan // Level: +42’ 0”

Design Development - Creating an open and free-flowing circulation

Existing building mass

Addition of vertical courtyard

Extending the courtyard to create a void

A linear meditation block along the party wall

Addition of a slit through the performance block

Sinking the structure to its basement

Opening up cafe space towards central courtyard

Open market space in first floor

Housing block placed facing Broadway

Integrated courtyard space

Addition of horizontal courtyard

Open arcade along the first floor

The courtyard creates a venue for social interaction

Primary performance space placed over the courtyard

Retaining the structural grid in the process of creating a void along it facade

Material Strategy - Reusing materials to reduce carbon footprint

Reusing existing bricks

Extracting the salvaged bricks to its components 

Reusing existing concrete panels

Reusing existing slabs

Removing the facade facing the courtyard

Adding a new floor using salvaged bricks

Reusing existing slabs

Reusing existing slabs

Extracting the salvaged bricks 

Introducing brick lattice facade

Reusing existing slabs

Reusing existing slabs

Reusing existing slabs

Existing Structure

Final Proposed Structure

physical study model

Material Take off - Carbon emission level

Distribution of materials by volume

Distribution of carbon by materials

Note: (unit in lbs)

Total carbon estimation

2.12 million tons

Carbon saved from reusing existing materials

1.84 million tons

Saved carbon equivalent


357,000 cars off the

road for a year

186 million gallons of gasoline consumed

270 billion number of smart phones charged


190,000 homes

energy use for one year


87 million propane cylinders used for home barbeques


1800 million pounds of coal burned

Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by equivalent


357 wind turbines running for a year

70 million trash bags of waste recycled instead of landfilled

270 billion number of smart phones charged

Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by equivalent

27,375,800 tree seedlings grown for 10 years


2,162,100 acres of U.S. forests in one year

14,000 acres of U.S. forests preserved from conversion to cropland in one year

* source: Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies obtained from