A Conversation with Michael Dryden of InsideOut Architecture:
Michael Dryden has been designing and building simple, affordable modern homes in and around Atlanta since 2005—many in Southeast Atlanta. Not only does he build homes in the neighborhood, he lives and works here, too. He moved into office space in Grant Park about a year ago. Our conversation touched on Michael’s ties to the neighborhood, his work, and why he thinks green pantone best represents Ormewood Park.
How are you settling into the new digs?
“I love it! It's around the block from my house. I'm friends with the building owner. And it's an old house that was converted into office space. These factors contribute to a great neighborhood feel. I chose office space in the neighborhood because I live here, and this is where most of my work is. My clients are mostly friends or neighbors. I also design and build spec homes in the neighborhood, so it helps to know the area and the home trends.”
With your home and your business located here, you are really invested in the neighborhood. Tell me a little bit more about how your life & work became so intertwined here.
Being able to live and work in the neighborhood is essential to my business. It makes me more sensitive to the homes I design, since I know the area and the history. I'm not just an outsider coming in to design something that may not fit in here. And I have to live near, see--and hear about from friends and neighbors-- everything I build. So that holds me to a pretty high standard.
Since we’re celebrating the Ormewood Park Meet the Makers Festival, I’d like to talk about what you think makes Ormewood Park stand out from its better known neighbors (for example, East Atlanta & Grant Park)?
I love Atlanta for its neighborhoods. They are what make the city so special. Each neighborhood has its own unique character. With Ormewood Park, there’s a closeness among neighbors-- most people I know from Ormewood Park are very close to one another. Maybe that’s because it's not one of the better known neighborhoods.
I’m so curious about this: why did you choose the name InsideOut Architecture?
It stemmed from the first home I designed and built. The concept was to center the small house around a courtyard with windows that overlooked it from every room. This made the house feel bigger, because the courtyard felt like part of the living space. Bringing the outside in and the inside out.
Okay, I’ve got one more bonus question for you: if Ormewood Park were a Pantone color, which would it be and why?
Green, because usually in an architectural drawings green pantone represents trees, and trees are a large part of what makes the neighborhood. Ormewood Park is like a neighborhood in a park.