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Key American Classical Monument Architectural Development in Georgia – renewal by architect Hugh Petter

Jul 16, 2008

US Monument Designed by British Architect Opens to Great Fanfare

Atlanta Arch, Georgia

Atlanta Arch

The biggest civic monument to be built in the USA since 1936 was officially opened in Atlanta on 4th July 2008. Dedicated to 2000 years of peaceful accomplishment, the inauguration ceremony was conducted by a line-up of local and national figures from public life including the Bishop of Atlanta and Congressman John Lewis. Mr Lewis, a friend and colleague of Martin Luther King (who was himself a citizen of Atlanta), declared the site “a place of peace.” The National Monuments Foundation turned to British architect Hugh Petter to create a unifying design for the 70 ft high classical monument which is taller than London’s Wellington Arch.

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The launch celebration saw the dramatic Gateway and its lakeside setting lit by fireworks. The Millennium Gate houses a public gallery for contemporary classical sculpture, an outdoor garden and a rooftop area, and provides a cultural centre that is a destination in its own right and a state-of-the-art teaching facility. The design of some of the key interiors was carried out by British designer Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill.

The $15m Millennium Gate features sculptures by Alexander Stoddart, a leading British artist, making the dramatic archway which graces the Atlanta skyline very much the product of British design creativity. Dedicated to peaceful accomplishment throughout the last two thousand years, six bronze sculptures – including the Goddesses of Justice and Peace – will adorn the monument. Two of the bronzes are in place having been exported from England to Georgia by an epic sea and land journey. The remaining four will be erected soon.

The Millennium Gate is located in Atlantic Station, a vibrant new mixed-use district located in Mid-town Atlanta. It is the centrepiece of the development and provides a thrilling contrast to the contemporary design of the Atlantic Station and extraordinary public space within the $2 billion development.

The Millennium Gate was designed by way of an international competition in 2000. Ten winners from around the world were selected to collaborate on a preliminary design. Then National Monuments Foundation enlisted the expertise of Hugh Petter of Robert Adam Architects to work with Rodney Cook, Jr. in developing these concepts into the architectural design for the monument. Hugh Petter was also responsible for siting the monument within its park-like setting. The project won the Palladio Award for urban space in America in 2006.

Robert Adam Architects

Practice Background

Hugh Petter is a director of UK architectural practice Robert Adam Architects which has an international reputation in classical and traditional architecture and design. Founded in 1986 the practice has become a world leader in progressive classical design, combining tradition with the latest technology.

As well as significant projects in the UK and the USA the practice works in Europe, the Near East and Japan. Its portfolio of award-wining projects includes town and country houses, nationally important buildings, traditional urban masterplans, commercial development and residential development.

In the USA the directors have worked on a number of high-profile projects for respected clients. In addition, Hugh Petter has delivered several lectures to audiences in the USA.
In the UK the directors’ roles as a champions of traditional architecture and urban design has led to a high-profile for the practice with projects often featured in the national media and the directors regularly quoted as commentators.

Hugh Petter

Hugh Petter Architect

Following a distinguished academic career during which he received two Rome scholarships and was a senior tutor for 6 years at The Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, Hugh Petter joined Robert Adam Architects in 1993.

His work includes urban design, architecture, historic restoration and design consultancy on projects in Europe, North America and the Caribbean. He is a passionate promoter of traditional architecture, new urbanism and sustainable development.

Hugh is an award-winning practitioner, a published author and a frequent public speaker. He is a visiting tutor at several architectural colleges and is an active contributor to many architectural societies including the Council of Advisors, Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America based in New York. He is also currently a trustee of the Georgian Group and Chairman of the Art Workers Guild. Hugh’s work has been shown in many exhibitions including Big Brainstorm Exhibition, London Architectural Biennale 2006; Traditional Architects Group, London, 2005; The Princes Foundation, London, 2003; The New English Country House, RIBA, London, 2003; A Decade of Art and Architecture 1992-2002, New York, 2002, and The Other Modern, Bologna, 2000.

Atlanta Arch images / information issued on behalf of Robert Adam Architects in Jul 2008 by Stratton & Reekie

Robert Adam Architects

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America


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