Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park has become one of the great legacies from the 1996 Olympic games. Designed as a public space, this 21-acre park boasts of such neighbors as the CNN Center, Philips Arena, The Georgia World Congress Center and The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. With its Fountain of Rings and commemorative walkways, Centennial Olympic Park offers a true urban park experience and has become a destination for tourists and locals alike. Now, after years of reluctance, Centennial Olympic Park has chosen to add food service to its amenities, welcoming Googie Burger to its grounds.
With the addition of Googie Burger, Centennial Olympic Park will offer a food service experience on par with the park’s famous Fountain of Rings. When designing Googie Burger, ai3 carefully balanced needs to add value to the park without creating competition for its existing attractions. For the compromise, ai3 looked to the original Googie designs, which were built to keep customers moving. Architecturally, Googies were known for their futuristic styling, employing chrome finishes and bold geometry.
In keeping with this approach, ai3’s design for Googie Burger is bold and modern. Its structure is sculptural, designed to contribute to rather than compete with, the larger Centennial Olympic Park experience. The angled roofline explores various vertical and horizontal planes — lunging, reaching, stretching — lending energy to the setting. Large glass panes and wood siding further the geometric design and add a natural aesthetic in keeping with the public setting.
The overall effect is a visually dynamic structure that complements the park’s urban experience. “People see if from far away and come to the park just to check it out,” according to Mike Plutono of Levy Restaurants. Its success has been fantastic, said Plutino. “Googie Burger achieved greater sales in 1 month than the previous concept achieved over the course of a year.”