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Atlanta

Atlanta

"Buildings here in Atlanta remain disappointing, with a few exceptions," states Catherine Fox, the art and architecture critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Renzo Piano's addition to the High Museum is one of those exceptions. "The expansion, which is actually three buildings and a restaurant arrayed around a plaza, opened in 2005. As you'd expect, it's a handsome project, designed to complement rather than outdo the Meier building, and it offers wonderful spaces for viewing art. The "piazza" at the center of the complex "is the connective tissue," says Fox, "but I don't think it has quite succeeded as the gathering space he envisioned. It's rather bare, and people tend to stick to the edges, where there is seating beneath the trees."

Another pleasant exception, says Fox, is 1180 Peachtree, a high-rise office building designed by New Haven–based Pickard Chilton. The 41-story tower, completed in 2006, is part of "a suite of buildings that are remaking midtown," says Fox. "Midtown is really filling in and rising up. Developers seem to have gotten the New Urbanist mantra, and people are moving here from the suburbs."