Legacy Project

Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

Historic beginnings

A start-up institution when Michael Graves and the firm designed the first of several projects, the success of this museum of art and archaeology led to its increasingly prominence within the campus and the community. The initial assignment involved adaptive re-use and renovation of a nationally registered historic building by Henry Hornbostel, the architect of Emory’s central quadrangle. The project created galleries related in design to the cultural artifacts being displayed. Ancient Egyptian galleries featured canted monolithic walls and the floors of the Greek galleries were stenciled with the plans of ancient buildings, a reference to Hornbostel’s School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon.

Contextual expansion

The success of the museum led to a major expansion next door, which anchored the cross-axis of the central quadrangle and provided a major public presence signaling its increased stature. The expansion is similar in scale and massing to the quadrangle’s other buildings and the exterior facades and roof use the same materials. The interiors include additional galleries and a multi-purpose room overlooking the quadrangle. Graves designed several subsequent small-scale renovations.

Project Lead

Michael Graves. Current staff who participated: Patrick Burke, AIA


Atlanta, GA (Americas)


22,000 SF Renovation/Historic Preservation, 40,000 SF Expansion

Completion Date

1985 Renovation, 1993 Expansion, 2001-2004 Gallery Renovations


National AIA Honor Award, AIA New Jersey Design Award, Interiors Magazine Design Award


Legacy Projects

At Michael Graves we create design that clients dream of. We not only care about what we create we care about who we create it for.