Tag Archives: featured

Large Commercial Designs

We work for several large property management companies where we provide initial site and building design to accommodate potential tenants.  With our experience in civil design, we can provide the client with both a feasible site plan and a building that conforms to the requirements of big box stores.

If the client moves forward we provide consulting services to establish a team to provide full Architectural, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing design.

Hillmont Avenue

We recently had the chance to stop by a newly completed custom home designed by WJM Designs.  This project had several challenges including using the existing foundation layout and a 600 square foot first floor addition that had to conform to strict zoning ordinances and a second floor addition.

This project was completed by a team including WJM Designs, Hollow Bone Designs, who did the interiors and staging and also the contractor, Core Group.  It is important to find a team who is able to put egos in check and bounce ideas off each other to provide the owner, an investor in this case, with a cost productive and sell-able product.

The finished home is beautifully appointed and fits in well with the old craftsman neighborhood.

Hillmont Avenue
Our Proposed Rendering and the Final Product

Stout Brothers – Inman Park

Stout Brothers is a simply designed retail store for specialty or craft beers.  Draft beer is poured into a container or growler to take off the premises.

It is located near Atlanta, Georgia in a mixed use building with retail on the street level and residential living above.

Outdoor Kitchen Pavilion

This heavy timber-framed pavilion is located in Woodstock, Georgia, at a private residence.   Design started in the fall of 2011 with the owner providing me with minimum design criteria consisting of a 30’X24′ rectangle, a list of kitchen equipment and a photograph of a timber-framed pavilion photo he had found on-line.

Foundation Walls (Spring 2014)
Foundation Walls (Spring 2014)

We settled on a plan with an added cantilever off the back so they could watch their children on the basketball court and enjoy the view.  The structure was to be located on a steep slope at the edge of the pool so the services of both a soils and structural engineer were procured.  Large helical piers were drilled through the slope to support the structure near the pool and a large “H” shape foundation was built to prevent the pool from pushing the new pavilion down hill.

3D Timber Frame Design
3D Timber Frame Design

Originally the heavy timber frame was to be pre-engineered, manufactured in North Carolina and then delivered and assembled on site.  This required designing each member to get the look we were after and involved several iterations of three-dimensional design layouts.  After the contract was awarded, it was determined that a craftsman would build the frame on-site using mortise and tenon connections.

Original Design 2012
Original Design 2012

The owner put the project on hold for a year and a half and construction began last spring and took approximately 8 months.  It includes a large gas grill, side burners, several warming trays, dishwasher, wine cooler, refrigerators and more.

Below are photographs of the finished project.  This is one of those projects that I am very proud of being involved with….

(Click on photos to enlarge)

CONTRACTOR: Heck and Company
(Photography by WJM Photography)

Haven – The Dog Spot: Marietta, Georgia

This project involved turning an old bar and restaurant into a state of the art dog kennel and rescue facility.  At almost 6000 square feet, the facility has plenty of kennels, a large group play area for the dogs along with grooming and an area for medical evaluation.  An outdoor play area is also available.

One design challenge on this project was noise control to the adjacent tenants.  To accomplish this we designed a double wall with a 3″ air space between them and each wall containing batt insulation.


Inside The Man Made Movie House

I recently found some additional pictures of the Man Made Movie House. The utmost fun about working on this projecvt was my phone ringing from the producers who always had questions like “Can we make a pool table disappear into the floor?”  My answers were always, “Of course”.  Now when I said these things could be done, I really did not know how it was going to be accomplished.  These situations made this project not only challenging, but backing up my mantra of anything can be built, it just takes money and knowledge.  The money part was not usually an issue.  Companies provided their products free or at a highly reduced rate to be featured on television.

The disappearing pool table was actually an easy solution and was part of the original design criteria and allowed us to design a “basement” area for the lift.  It looked much more high tech on television but due to costs it was actually simple but not very functional.  An industrial lift was placed in the basement with a rectangular section of flooring attached to its top.  When one wanted to play pool, the floor was lowered, several large men put the table on the lift and back up it went.

Middle Level of the Fire Pole
Middle Level of the Fire Pole

Another call requested the feasibility of fire poles going from the upper deck to the bottom floor.  This became much more difficult of a request than it seemed.  Fire poles generally are not put in fire houses anymore so there was no design data I could find.  Luckily I recalled the City of Marietta, Georgia’s main fire station still had functioning poles.  Several phone calls and we were able to measure the poles and the diameter of the holes needed.  The next issue was dealing with the Cherokee County code officials including the Fire Marshal’s office.  Fire poles are not covered in the building codes so we had to negotiate and come to a mutual agreement to provide as much safety as reasonably.  Technically being a “movie set” we were given some latitude. Continue reading Inside The Man Made Movie House

Carriage House Catering – Marietta, Georgia


Putting a full catering kitchen in a building that is over 120 years old was a fascinating challenge.

The Carriage House sits on the rear of the property where the Whitlock Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in Marietta, Georgia.  Over the years it has been used for many purposes.  The biggest challenge was fitting in all the equipment with out moving walls and minimizing any new doors and openings.  Being a historic structure, we also wanted to maintain the integrity of the original structure.  The City of Marietta was helpful in finding ways to accomplish this as it is not possible to bring a structure such as this up to date with current codes.

Along with our many years in restaurant design and with the experience of the Catering Company’s chef we were able to design a well functioning kitchen including prep areas and a dish-washing area.  A commercial hood was installed for the fully functioning cook line.  The result was a very tight space with every nook and cranny used and at the same time very practical.

The space has been  so successful for the company and their business they are currently looking to relocate to a much larger space.



School – Basin Zim, Haiti


(Updated 4 April 2014)  The school is all but finished and will be open in September for classes.  Finished photos will be added as soon as we get them)

Proposed School
Proposed School

Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan preached, “Form follows Function”.  This building will not win any design awards but it is a great example of a design philosophy established in the late 1800’s.  This simple block structure looks just like what it is, but to the children of Haiti, this is a Taj Mahal. Continue reading School – Basin Zim, Haiti