Brutalist 1960s lab from Netflix drama set to make way for new homes

A brutalist former psychiatric hospital made famous by its central role in Netflix drama Stranger Things is set to be demolished to make way for a new residential development targeting older people.

Abraham Thomas Bradbury’s Georgia Mental Health Institute was built between 1962-63 in the Atlanta suburb of Druid Hills. But it is more famous as the fictional Hawkins National Laboratory in the science fiction/horror TV series created by Matt and Ross Duffer.

The show launched in 2016 and is now in its fifth season. In it, the government-run Hawkins National Laboratory exists to perform legitimate scientific research but covertly explores the paranormal and supernatural. In the process it creates a portal to another dimension.

Architect Bradbury was one of the most prolific designers of public buildings in Atlanta in the mid 20th century. He also designed the Georgia Archives, the Georgia Governor’s Mansion and the state Agriculture Building.

The 141-bed psychiatric hospital was decommissioned and acquired by Emory University in 1997. The five-storey block is properly known as Briarcliff Building A and features offices, conference rooms auditoriums, labs and clinical spaces, and a basement with underground tunnels.


Source: Galerie Living

Galerie Living’s proposed Corso Druid Hills development

The university originally intended to redevelop the 17ha Briarcliff estate where the building is located as a biotech hub. But it has now entered into a 99-year lease arrangement with Atlanta developer Galerie Living to create a gated 500-home residential scheme for older people on around 13ha of the land.

Student newspaper the Emory Wheel said the project would also see the refurbishment of the Candler Mansion, which is part of the campus and the former home of Asa Candler Jr – second son of Coca-Cola baron Asa Candler. The building has also featured in Stranger Things.


Source: Emory Film Management

The Candler Mansion