BeltLine Rest Stops

About Me

Hi! My name is Lauren Bernard, and I’m a junior at The Lovett School in Atlanta. This is my first architecture course, and its been a great opportunity to try something new. I love the outdoors and being involved with my community, whether that be going out to local restaurants or visiting city parks. One of my favorite places to go is the Atlanta BeltLine, which is the site location for my Catalyst Project.

The Problem

The Atlanta Beltline is an impressive and sustainable 22 mile walking loop that connects 45 in town neighborhoods through the multi-use of streetcars, trails, and parks that are based on original railroad corridors that surround Atlanta. I have been to the BeltLine many times whether on my own or with my school, but I have noticed that, despite having metal benches placed along the trail every so often, there is not a place that can be considered a rest stop where runners and bikers can take a break to cool down or have protection from the elements since the trail is entirely outdoors.

My Solution

The implementation of a rest stop that can be placed at various points along the trail will greatly benefit the users of the BeltLine. The main focus of this project is to encourage more people from all age groups to use the trail while improving their health and well-being; this connects with the third UN Sustainable Goal to ensure healthy lives and promote use for all ages and well-being. The rest stop will motivate people other than the stereotypical fitness runner to take advantage of and use the BeltLine through its multifaceted potential. It will act as a shelter for BeltLine users from unpredictable weather since there is no accessible place to take cover on the current trail, provide shade from the sun, and give BeltLine users the opportunity to have a place where they can fill up water bottles or grab a snack. The BeltLine is a means of movement that encourages sustainability and wellness, but the rest stop will facilitate a much needed pause to the constant motion of the BeltLine.

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Explanation of Design

My design consists of a 16 feet by 14 feet structure at an elevation of 1 foot with a concrete foundation. Glass walls surround the structure on three sides with a concrete graffiti wall on the back side. The roof the structure has solar panels to generate the electricity needed. It is slanted towards the South to ensure that optimal amounts of sunlight are being captured throughout the day. A sliding glass barn door ensures easy access to the structure, and a ramp leading up to the door enables all people to enter the Rest Stop.

How the Rest Stop’s Design is Complementary to the Community

The Rest Stop is completely sustainable with solar panels on the roof that provide the structure with its needed energy. Because the BeltLine is known for its graffiti by community members, I have decided to incorporate a graffiti wall to my structure where artists will be allowed to paint designs of their choosing. The Rest Stop will also encourage more people to use the BeltLine and interact with their community by having high school students from surrounding neighborhoods work at the snack bar inside the Rest Stop.

How You Can Become Involved!

If you are local to Atlanta or near the area, make sure to stop by and enjoy the benefits of the BeltLine. If you feel inspired by my project, please feel free to reach out to the Atlanta BeltLine Board of Directors and express your support for this project to be implemented!

The Design Process

Site Analysis

There are currently no places for BeltLine users to rest or recharge along the trail, forcing them to go inside a restaurant to order a drink or use the bathroom. But there is lots of open space nearby the trail where Rest Stops could be built.

My chosen site is en example of what other sites will look like. This one has flat ground with grass directly next to trail. Buildings and apartments are behind these open areas, but they are not too close to the site area where privacy would be an issue. The designated site area measures long distances of feet lengthwise and about 16 feet in depth.

This is an overhead picture of my chosen site, explaining where the structure is located and how it fits in with the surrounding buildings.

Mood Board

I wanted to capture the colorful and energetic vibe that Atlanta has through its graffiti and use of art seen in the architecture of surrounding buildings near the BeltLine

Floor Plan

Share this project
  1. April 26, 2019 by 20LaurenB

    Hi Lauren! I really loved your presentation, and it’s so cool that you were able to create something that could be used in your community! Your mood board gave me a better idea of the energy the BeltLine gives, and it radiates your passion towards this project. Would someone be working the counter the whole day? I was thinking you could have like a vending machine that can hold everything the employee could. If it’s possible, I definitely think you could talk to the Parks and Recreation department in your town and see their thoughts on this project! It’s put together really well, great job!!

    • April 28, 2019 by Lauren Bernard

      Hi! I’m so glad you liked my design. I totally see where you’re coming from (I was originally considering using a vending machine!) but I thought it would be fun to have a local high school student working at the rest stop to help encourage more community involvement. I would love to show my project to the Parks and Recreation department to possibly have a rest stop be built on the BeltLine. Thanks for your comment!

  2. April 26, 2019 by Mia.Coker

    I really enjoyed your presentation! I think incorporating graffiti into your design was a creative solution to an existing problem, and I love the sustainable aspect of your rest stop. The rest stop would be a great addition to the BeltLine and the services it already provides, and I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated in your community.

    • April 28, 2019 by Lauren Bernard

      Hi Mia! I thought the graffiti would be a cool way of involving the community by letting them paint the rest stop walls while also maintaining the energetic vibe of the BeltLine. Thanks for your comment!

  3. April 27, 2019 by Claudia.Sheridan

    Hi Lauren – I really enjoy how close this project is to your community and you. Your project was well presented. I hope you continue to ponder and further your design with the more feedback you receive. I believe a great next step would be thinking of the foot traffic in these rest stops and at what times. What materials would be used? When would it be cleaned and how often?

    • April 28, 2019 by Lauren Bernard

      Hi Claudia! I tried to minimize the foot traffic in the design of the rest stop, but any feedback on how to improve it is always welcome! I would like to use low costing materials such as concrete for the foundation and flooring to make the implementation of the rest stop more affordable. I think it would be cleaned about once every other week (I don’t think it will be that dirty) but all of this could change. Thanks for your comment!

  4. April 27, 2019 by Orly.Richter

    Hi Lauren! I don’t live in Atlanta, but I was there recently, and I actually went running on the BeltLine a few times. I agree with the need you see for a rest stop- when I was there, the trail was very busy and there weren’t very many places to get into the shade if someone needed to, which is definitely a concern when exercising in the warmer months. I like that you recognized this need and designed something to give back to the community. I also love the idea of incorporating the graffiti into the rest stop because it maintains the upbeat vibe while still being a place to relax.

    • April 28, 2019 by Lauren Bernard

      Hi Orly! The trail is definitely starting to get more crowded as the weather gets nicer! I hoped that my design could be used as a place for people to take a minute to rest from the heat of the sun while still feeling connected to the outdoors with the glass windows. Hope you had a fun time visiting Atlanta!

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