THE OWNERS OF THIS 1980s neotraditional located in a tony Atlanta neighborhood might be considered lucky that their home was constructed so poorly. A home improvement project to create more closet space morphed into an extreme makeover that left them with a structure that is part residence, part minimalist abstract sculpture.

“As we opened up a wall, we found something rotten,” says James E. Choate III, the architect who worked on the house. Choate was at the homeowner's office discussing the more extensive repairs the house would need when he noticed the owner's impressive collection of abstract art. And so the adventure began. “It evolved more than any project I've worked on,” he says.

Gone are the traditional bric-a-brac, the pediments, the quoins, the ornamental casing. They've been replaced by a flat white façade, the windows surrounded by stark black casing.

In back, the new master bedroom juts out like a huge white cube. In a playful visual touch, the large picture window is balanced by a minuscule opening in the back of the garage on the opposite end of the house. Another visual essay is the abstract gazebo on the back porch. It's a large black metal cube that provides no protection from the elements. “It just defines the space,” says Choate.

CATEGORY: Whole house makeover or significant addition; ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: Surber, Barber, Choate & Hertlein, Atlanta; BUILDER: Winward Remodeling, Atlanta; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Page Shaw, Landscape Architect, Atlanta; INTERIOR DESIGNER: Peace Design, Atlanta

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.