06 Oct Michael Habachy – Designing Midtown’s Coolest Tower
Acclaimed Atlanta designer Michael Habachy is bringing his signature cool to the most highly-anticipated luxury residential project in Atlanta.
His firm, Habachy Designs (www.habachydesigns.com) is creating a fresh, new-to-Atlanta atmosphere for The Related Group’s Midtown mixed-use project on 14th Street (home to a flagship Whole Foods) – the storied Miami developer’s first in the city.
In this edition of “Interior Monologues,” Habachy discusses his vision for the project, his passion for his work, and how it feels to join the pantheon of top designers associated with The Related Group.
Q: You were just chosen to design one of the most exciting projects in Atlanta – The Related Group’s new Midtown mixed-use project. Tell us about the vibe you are creating? What is the atmosphere for the lobby, pool, and rooftop club?
A: First, I have to say that we are thrilled to be working with one of the country’s top developers. The Related Group has collaborated with some of my all-time favorite designers over the years (such as Philippe Starck, Clodagh, Rockwell, Yabu Pushelberg and Jacques Garcia), so it is truly an honor to have been selected to design their first tower here in Atlanta.
I am excited about our concept, because it’s going to be a very fresh, new look for Atlanta. Our design for the lobby and reception will provide residents and guests with the ultimate in modern glamour. Creating a Miami-inspired feel, we’re finishing the floors in a gorgeous, white honed marble. Organic textures and furnishings will add warmth, including rich burled walnut wood panels, Shagreen accent tables, hammered brass and more. To add a touch of whimsy, the buffalo skin-clad reception desk that I designed will be surrounded by lush green boxwood foliage, illuminated by a gorgeous sculptural chandelier.
The pool level will feel like a boutique hotel by the seaside, featuring white, slipcovered sofas and chairs, chandeliers and fireplaces. One of the coolest features will be a cantilevered hot tub off the side of the building. Bathers will be suspended over 14th Street, feeling as if they were in aquarium, with a clear glass wall giving them an incredible view of the city!
I’m also really excited about the club level on the 39th floor. I would describe it as hunt club-meets-hip, Scandinavian lounge. It’s going to be so sexy that they could probably sell annual memberships to non-residents! Modern applications of reclaimed wood, blackened steel, aged brass and pops of rich green suede leather are all touches that will makes guests want to linger.
Q: What will set the interior spaces of the Midtown project apart from other luxury multi-family projects in Atlanta?
A: Our client George Perez, CEO of Related Group, is a huge patron of the arts – so much so that the PAMM (Perez Art Museum Miami) was named after him. As you can imagine, art will be a focal point of our design and will set us apart from the competition. We are using a combination of world–renowned and local artists to create some really breathtaking pieces.
Q: What other projects are keeping you busy right now?
A: We have quite a range of projects, which keeps things interesting. We have a select handful of residential projects, including a flat in the Mandarin Oriental, a penthouse in another Buckhead tower, and several new construction modern homes. We are also working on a several new restaurants, one of which is a 1940’s French Art Deco-inspired cafe on Ralph McGill near the BeltLine.
Q: You have designed some of the coolest restaurants and nightclubs in Atlanta and you’re also behind some of the best-known spas, such as Blue Med Spa. So…are you a night owl or a morning person?
A: I am definitely more of a night owl, but I can’t say it’s because I am going out all of the time. I did enough partying in my twenties to make up for a lifetime! These days, I’m more likely burning the midnight oil working on my latest project. Other than that, I enjoy spending time with my lovely wife or dining at a new restaurant with good friends.
Q: You are a Georgia State grad and one of the most acclaimed designers in Atlanta, with awards from Gold, Silver and Bronze ASID and a “Best of Houzz” designation. What did you study at Georgia State? How did your time there influence your approach to your business and your success?
A: I graduated from Georgia State with a BFA specializing in interior design. I also took some sculpture and furniture design classes, learning at a young age that “form follows function.” This experience, combined with working for a metal fabrication company, really got me passionate about industrial and furniture design. I love figuring out the best ways to incorporate special pieces into my clients’ spaces. I believe that special pieces – like our tailor made furnishings – are what really make our interiors memorable. I would say that above all, my success comes from the tremendous passion that I have for design, and the strong work ethic that makes me strive for perfection.