Residential Design

VOL.4. 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Another Wave Coming POST + BEAM BUILDERS ATLANTA Photo: Courtesy Post + Beam Builders Photo: Courtesy Post + Beam Builders When the recession hit the homebuild- ing industry in the Atlanta area, it hit hard. The region is, in large part, driven by speculative building geared toward the C-suite corporate relocation mar- ket. Unfortunately, builders involved in speculative housing were most vulnera- ble to the housing bust, corporate hiring freezes, tightening bank credit, and subs' imploding businesses. Younger builders were most at risk, without projects already under construction, significant cash reserves, or a deep bench of former customers who might toss them a remodeling or repair job. Quite a few of these builders went under and, even when the economy rebound- ed, many never made it back. These are some of the reasons why the custom builders you see thriving during this latest housing boom are in their 50s—and even older. They are the survivors. They had been through recessions before, and they knew how to hunker down and keep going. They may have used up their retirement funds or mortgaged their houses, but they're still in business. Now, they're poised to seize the day, and they have the expertise and relationships to make it happen. Indeed, they're currently doing some of the best work of their lives. In Atlanta's latest boom, the experienced survivors are certainly represented, but they've been joined by a host of carpetbaggers with dubious credentials who are flipping older hous- es in good neighborhoods and building speculative homes from internet plans. Lots of expensive, mediocre houses are cropping up everywhere. Tight invento- ry means these houses are selling well, despite their shortcomings. This is the market Wyatt Anderson and Ryan Howard are facing with their custom building company, called Post + Beam Builders. While everyone else is rushing for the high-end traditional custom job or the easy money quick- build spec, they're cultivating a more rarified niche: They're specializing in architect-designed modern houses. The other unusual aspect of their company is they're young builders, both under 40, with solid, relevant credentials in the building industry — and they are also survivors, who've made it through the last recession stronger and more entrepreneurial than when they started. Inside the Box At this summer's Atlanta modern homes tour, an annual event that reach- es from the city's intown and close-in suburbs all the way to Asheville, N.C., Post + Beam's Split Box House for architect David Goldschmidt, AIA, was a showstopper. It has a number of elements rarely seen in the largely tradi- tional town—chief among them a flat, green roof and cementitious rainscreen siding. The house itself is two separate bars—one long and one short—with another box placed atop them like a bridge, all the better to span a steeply sloped site with a constant stream of runoff water from the street above. The house is striking and architecturally rig- orous, unlike the typical modern houses Atlanta favors at the moment. Split Box House is David's own family home. He's a senior associate at Lord Aeck Sargent, and has worked at Perkins + Will, KPF, and Dattner in the past. He's also principal of his own firm, DiG Architects, specializing in commer- cial and residential design. It says quite a lot that he chose Post + Beam to build his house. Despite the vote of confi- dence, it was still a bit intimidating for the young company. Above: Ryan Howard and Wyatt Anderson, partners in Atlanta's Post + Beam Builders. Above: DiG Architects' Split Box House uses clever geometry to negotiate Atlanta's steep topography. 21 VOL. 4, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM PRO-FILE BUILD

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