Merit - SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture for Open Space Planning

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlantic Drive Promenade
Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlantic Drive Promenade
Jury Comments
". . . infrastructure-driven project took the opportunity to deal with below-grade challenges to create a campus space . . . good analyses—they thought of everything . . . well done . . ."


    • Campus size – 1,740 academic staff /29,370 students / 5,923 administrative staff
    • This important linear open space links many of the core engineering facilities on campus.
    • Stormwater infiltration utilizes the natural topography of the corridor to direct runoff to the north and south, fully integrating the area into the campus-wide stormwater management system.
    • Accessibility, visibility, and safety are all significantly improved.
    • The vision for Highpoint Plaza is focused on spatial clarity, improved connections, functional and programmatic flexibility, and the creation of a signature campus open space.
    • The plan for the Atlantic Drive Promenade was initiated in conjunction with the replacement of a large-scale steam line.


The Atlantic Drive Promenade is an important corridor running through the heart of the Georgia Tech campus. The goals of the project included transforming Atlantic Drive into a multipurpose pedestrian corridor, effectively managing stormwater, enhancing the plaza at the College of Computing to become an active place for gathering, maintaining continuity with the improvements on Atlantic Drive north of Ferst Drive, and providing additional bike parking throughout the corridor.

The focal point is Highpoint Plaza itself, a civic-minded space for gathering, dining, and programmed events. Strategically located at the crest of the hill, this plaza successfully reconciles the access requirements to all of the surrounding buildings within a single, simple gesture, giving each approach a sense of destination and the whole a sense of place.

The first phase of the integrated planning process consisted of a series of site visits to confirm existing conditions and observe pedestrian movements throughout the corridor at various times of the day. Following data collection and analysis, three stakeholder meetings and design workshops were held with faculty, employees, staff, and students. These workshops identified the challenges with the existing conditions and helped inform the focus areas and phasing strategy for the project. Numerous options were discussed and evaluated against a range of social, economic, and environmental considerations. Final recommendations were documented in an Opportunities + Focus Areas diagram that established the framework for the project.

Project Team

Perkins+Will; also Long Engineering, Inc.; Newcomb & Boyd Consulting Engineers; Costing Services Group, Inc.