The Melody: A Blueprint For Rapid Housing

  • Feb 14, 2024

The Melody, Atlanta’s first multifamily shipping container development for rapid housing, is a model for reducing the city’s unhoused community.

The project converted 20 containers into 40 studio apartments on a parking lot south of downtown. It took four months from the idea to completion – the fastest turnaround for a multifamily project in Atlanta.

Its quick completion is due to innovative design and construction techniques, a shared vision, and community involvement. Team members include the City of Atlanta, Partners for Home, Atlantica Properties, and The Beck Group, who led design and construction.

A Dignified Housing Design Strategy

Beck’s design called for repurposing the containers into 160 SF studios.

“Our goal was designing safe, accessible, and dignified housing for Atlanta’s unsheltered,” said Ryan Woods, an associate principal at Beck, “That is why every unit has a bedroom, an ADA-accessible bathroom, and a kitchenette.”

 

The trauma-informed design includes biophilic elements to enhance physical and mental well-being. That included painting the containers’ earth-tone colors and placing synthetic turf over the lot.

Adding trees, a communal garden, a dog park, and gathering places create community.

The Melody Benefits From Design-Build Approach

Beck used modular components to construct the rapid housing. Half of the studios were repurposed shipping containers donated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. The other half were prefabricated units.

Lastly, the team built a custom module on site for the community building, which features offices, a kitchenette, and laundry facilities.

“Choosing The Beck Group for our multifamily project was strategic and driven by our ambitious timeline. Beck’s integrated design-build approach stands out for its unparalleled collaboration and cost savings,” said Darion Dunn, managing partner at Atlantica.

Residents moved into The Melody on February 6. The development’s name honors Melody Bloodworth, who had a mental illness and struggled with homelessness. She died while homeless in 2022.