Perspectives in architecture: Buckhead’s famous round house retains its distinctive character


A mid-century modern Buckhead home designed by famed architect Cecil Alexander for his family had been on the market for over a year before Ted and Susan Pound visited.

While potential buyers viewed a home completed in 1957 as a structure in need of updates, Susan envisioned this home, affectionately referred to as the Round House, as “a wonderful place to raise their family.”

Alexander, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects who died at age 95 in 2013, founded the architectural firm FABRAP (1958-1984) and was a respected civil rights leader, who designed the Georgia state flag 2001-2003.

Alexander added his distinct design sensibilities to the Round House, just as he did with prominent Atlanta structures like the old AT&T building, the Georgia Power headquarters, and the now-demolished Atlanta-Fulton Stadium. County.

A dramatic atrium with a skylight, reminiscent of the oculus of the ancient Pantheon, was centered over the rooms of the circular house. Panoramic views of the 3.75-acre wooded property from five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a bright living room and the home’s cheerful vibe could impress their two children with a creative mindset. As the son of an architect based in Columbus, Georgia, Ted yearned to honor the home’s unique design featured in national magazines.

Since their purchase of the Round House in 2006, the Pounds have been careful with renovation projects to preserve the character of the house. The bathrooms have been renovated. Additional lighting in the atrium encouraged nighttime use of the space. The roof, electrical wiring and mechanical systems have been replaced. New exterior windows have transformed the basement into an inviting multipurpose room.

Until Alexander’s death in 2013, the couple befriended the architect and his wife Helen as they consulted him on major home improvement projects.

The Pounds have also engaged talented architects, contractors and artists, such as Noel Dent and Anne Terhokoski, for more than a decade for modernization projects at the Round House. The married artists recently livened up the kitchen by replacing a copper backsplash with their handcrafted tile. The clean lines and simple forms of the design reflect Scandinavian-influenced design. A shared love for craftsmanship built admiration between the Pounds and Dent and Terhokoski.

Recent exterior upgrades include a small, intricately detailed addition to the home by architect Steve Robinson of Axios Architecture, LLC that addresses the bridge’s long-standing structural issues. New walkways allow owners to walk around the house, access a new outdoor hot tub and fire pit, and enjoy the flora and fauna on the property.

While extreme home makeovers attract attention and viewers, the Books demonstrate the value of moderate improvements and benevolent management of architecturally significant homes. For these distinctive landmarks, major renovations are rated based on how the home is improved and preserved.


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