Talk of the Town - Building foundations June 10 2004

Brash music manager chills in lasting loft

Real-estate agents dream of Shawn Moseley's inexpensively built, two-story loft. His home's simplistic design allows for easy and affordable additions, which could translate into a high profit margin if he ever sells it. Moseley built the house as part of a Community Housing Resource Center project after studying different types of building material that deteriorate in Georgia's tropical climate.

Shawn: Things like carpet, roof shingles and asphalt don't last. So my house was built out of concrete and galvanized steel. A lot of people would look at my home and call it a house, but it's more like a foundation. Right now, its got concrete floors and those could easily be turned into hardwood floors. And I could pull out the toilet and some other things in the bathroom without a problem. I'll make the bathroom nice once I get a girlfriend. That's the cool thing about it. It was designed to be conducive to upgrading, and if I found a cooler set of windows, I could take out of the older windows and replace them.

Creative Loafing: What was your inspiration for the design? Is the house meant to foster a particular feeling you've experienced in music or literature?

The design for this house is based on early New York-style lofts. It's built to meet requirements. We built enough to make the city let me live here.

So, you were not thinking about playing music here initially? The open space seems like a good place to practice.

Well, I don't play a lot of music. Some of the bands I manage have considered recording music here, but it hasn't happened yet. This house was kind of a culmination of my time as an architect, I built it right after I finished studying architecture at Southern Polytechnic Institute. After graduating, I started looking for a place to live, and I contacted an architect friend of mine involved with the Community Housing Resource Center. They wanted to build some experimental, long-term, low-cost housing, so my friend and I sketched out the design. There were seven people involved with the build, and we finished the house in seven months.

Seven months? That's a quick build.

Yeah, it didn't take long.

Did you meet your future neighbors during construction? Also, I have to ask since you live just off Boulevard, is this a rough area?

I think what's remarkable about this neighborhood is that nobody on this street gives a shit about what color you are. We all get along pretty well. Aside from an occasional police siren and fire engine, I rarely hear anything. On the weekends, I hear music coming from cars. It's loud and there's lots of bass, but that's OK because I play lots of treble.

So everyone gets along pretty well?

I had some friends visit during the build, and they ended up moving into the neighborhood. Most of the people in this community get along. We have barbecues and picnics together.