A Buckhead mid-century modern home designed by noted architect Cecil Alexander for his family had been on the market for more than a year before a visit from Ted and Susan Pound. 

While prospective buyers saw a house completed in 1957 as a structure in need of updates, Susan envisioned this home, affectionately called 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 well-respected civil rights leader, who designed the 2001-2003 Georgia state flag.

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

A dramatic atrium with a skylight, reminiscence of the oculus in the ancient Pantheon, centered the rooms in the circular home. Scenic views of the 3.75-acre wooded property from five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and a light-filled living room and the joyful vibe of the home could imprint a creative mindset for their two children. As the son of a Columbus, GA-based architect, Ted aspired to honor the unique design of the home featured in national magazines.

Since their 2006 purchase of the Round House, the Pounds have been careful with renovation projects to preserve the character of the home. Bathrooms have been renovated. Additional lighting into the atrium have 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 multi-purpose room.

Until Alexander’s death in 2013, the couple formed a friendship with the architect and his wife Helen as they consulted with him about major home improvement projects.  

The Pounds also engaged talented architects, contractors, and artists, such as Noel Dent and Anne Terhokoski, for over a decade for modernization projects at the Round House.  The married artists enlivened the kitchen recently by replacing a copper backsplash with their handcrafted art-tile. Clean lines and simple shapes in the design reflect a Scandinavian-influenced design. A shared love for craftsmanship has built admiration between the Pounds and Dent and Terhokoski.

Recent exterior modernizations include a finely detailed small addition to the home by architect Steve Robinson of Axios Architecture, LLC that resolves longstanding structural problems from the deck. New walkways allow the homeowners to stroll around the home, to access a new outdoor spa and fireplace pit, and to enjoy the flora and fauna of the property.  

While extreme home makeovers attract attention and television viewers, the Pounds demonstrate the value of restrained improvements and kindhearted stewardship of architecturally significant homes.  For these distinctive landmarks, great renovations are assessed by how thoughtfully the home is improved and preserved.

Melody L. Harclerode, FAIA enjoys connecting the public to wondrous places as an award-winning architect, author, and Executive Director of Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta.