Backstage: Atlanta Ballet’s Grand New HQ

A look at the designer behind the new space
Atlanta Ballet recently moved its headquarters from a dilapidated space in Midtown to a modernized location nearly twice the size on the cusp of the Westside. Architect Steve Munro envisioned great possibilities for the manufacturing plant with sloping, twenty-four-foot ceilings. The space would be his greatest accomplishment. Tragically, the fifty-four-year-old died of a heart attack in February, leaving his wife Kelly, pictured above, to finish the project.
The new Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre, with its five full-size studios, buttresses the company’s public education program in both environmentally friendly and artful ways. It boasts energy-efficient lighting, recycled carpet, and many exterior walls made of Kalwall, a translucent material that permits natural light—all of which, when choreographed together, helped the new digs become the nation’s only arts organization HQ to achieve Gold LEED certification. Artistic flourishes include a lobby with ballet bars and casts of the five foot positions; a solarium with its own mini-photography exhibit titled Steel Toes; and, in memory of Steve, a single exposed column left unaltered, with a dedication to the designer.
Photograph by Kendrick Brinson