Friday, July 2, 2010

This is going to be really interesting....

image via Joel Kelly's facebook page

I found out that the architect for the new house next door to me is Joel Kelly (it wasn't very hard - he put up a sign). He trained at Georgia Tech, graduating in 1991 and then went on to Princeton for his masters degree in architecture. He is well known in Atlanta for his work in the loft community. He also does interior design as well as architecture. Joel Kelly's work has been published in Veranda, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, and Home and Garden. I found a few renderings of the future new house next door on his Facebook page. It looks like this will be a fun project to watch take shape next door.

In the above image my house is the large grey blob in the background.

images above and below via JK's Facebook page

Again, I'm the big blob on the right.

Okay, so here's the deal with this house. There was a small bungalow on it until June 2009. The new owner tore it down with the intention to build a house similar to mine and the one South of mine. But that is not buildable in the new ordinance put in place by the City Council and authored by Mary Norwood. So the new owner and his architect had to get creative because of the way the lot slopes away and because of a tree that falls on the property line of the neighbor on the north side of the lot.

The garage is in front to deal with the fact that there really is not room for a driveway given the tree's root system - there is a courtyard around the tree save area in the renderings. You can see the large tree in the drawings. There is a long breezeway to get back from the garage to the main living area of the house in the back. The three story structure in the back is the part that will be next to my kitchen. This is really not a large house, despite the way it looks. The front structure is mostly garage, with a master under it and the second structure is one big room on the main level (with 18' ceilings - loft like), with the possibility of two additional bedrooms on the ground/courtyard level. That area will be unfinished upon move in according to the plans. Roughly 3600 square feet overall.

From the renderings, it appears that this is a very creative way to handle a difficult situation. Good job Mr. Kelly! I'll keep you all posted on the progress as it moves along.

Check out Joel Kelly's website and facebook page for more info.


  1. That's so interesting... a garage in front...There will be daylight in the master underneath, right? In my neighborhood, a lot of people have done this. All the houses are built in the 50s, and my neighbor actually built a passageway between the original house to a huge new addition in the back. This will be such a fun project to unfold :)

  2. Aha. I think this is going to be good. Kind of an Alys Beach type? 3500 sounds big to me. The computer renderings are so icy. The JK houses near me is so much better than the rendering.

  3. Joel Kelly won the design award for his own loft in maybe 2004...
    Anyway, I was on that tour and had a chance to experience the space in person. joel's work is just that-an experience and a treat for the senses.

    Renderings are a great tool, there aren't meant to be gorgeous, right! However from just the renderings that you posted here, Helen, I can see exactly how the house sits on the lot, exactly how it how the garden sits in the courtyard, I can see the tree with the roots (YAY for leaving it Joel). Renderings are really helpful! And I think they're cool.

    please, please keep us updated!

  4. It'll be fun to watch the progress! Keep us posted! And have a Happy Fourth of July, Helen.

  5. Looking forward to seeing the progress on this house! Very unusual, but creative, approach to siting the house on the lot.

    What did Mary Norwood pass that changed the approach to the house that would be on this lot?

  6. Such an interesting house. I'm definitely going to have to put your street on my riding route so I can watch the progress. Do you know what the facade material will be? Brick? Stucco?

  7. James -
    Last I heard he has not decided between brick and stucco. I'm voting for stucco.

  8. Hi Helen,

    Joel Kelly here...thanks for writing such nice articles about my's much appreciated.

    Your neighbor, Chris is a really wonderful guy and was a pleasure to work with.

    I just found out about this blog from a post on my facebook page...

    Once again, thanks and I hope you find the new house to your liking when it's done.


  9. Just wondering how this was working out. I was worried about the bleak street frontage as per the rendering and hoped that the reality was made more attractive. Please give an update when it is all finished.