Melody HarclerodeBy Melody Harclerode
Architecture can be defined as the “art and science of building.” A design by an architect may express one aspect of that definition more strongly than the other. The historic Candler Building in downtown Atlanta by architects George Murphy and George
Stewart and Fox Theatre by architect Olivier J. Vinour embody the art of building with their rich exterior and interior materials and details.
The public can experience the science of a building with a walk through the 2005 High Museum of Art Expansion. Architects traditionally avoided the use of natural light in gallery spaces to prevent damaging artwork, yet Architect Renzo Piano applied scientific innovation to add 1,000 miniature skylights in the roof system and provide filtered northern light into his galleries.
This year, architects, engineers, design professionals, and building and facility managers have a tremendous opportunity to explore the science of building with the AIA + 2030 Professional Series underway at the old city council chambers in Atlanta City Hall. Guest speakers from around the country will help professionals to design super efficient buildings and meet the ambitious environmental goals of the 2030 Challenge including the elimination of fossil fuel energy in the operations of a building. AIA Atlanta has partnered with the City of Atlanta to host this innovative program on the third Friday of each month until November 2011.
High school students in the state of Georgia are also delving into the science of building with the ongoing High School Design Competition sponsored by the Home
Depot Foundation, architectural firm Cooper Carry, and Brick Southeast, Inc. Young people must design a shelter to serve as temporary housing for a minimum of eight people after a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina or the earthquake in Haiti using the highest environmental standards. Among the requirements, the shelter shall be made of durable materials, sized to fit into a shipping container, and operate using alternative energy sources like solar or wind. Meet future architects and designers and see their creative and innovative work when the Awards Ceremony is held on April 21 at 6 p.m. at the Woodruff Arts Center.
Melody L. Harclerode, AIA, a local architect, promotes the power of architecture and design as a Board Member of the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Principal of Harclerode Architects ( For more information about these programs, check out

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.