Creating Places: A Citizen Observer's Look at Nashville's Built Environment
Writer's Note: William Williams' interest in the manmade environment dates to 1970, at which point the then-young Williams started a collection of postcards of city skylines. The collection now numbers 1,000-plus cards. Among the writer's specific interests are exterior building design, city district planning, demographics, signage, mixed-use development, mass transit and green/sustainable construction and living. Williams began his Creating Places column with The City Paper in February 2005. The column in its original form was discontinued in September 2008 and reinvented via this blog in November 2008. Creating Places can be found on the home page of the website of The City Paper, at which Williams has worked in various capacities since October 2000.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Creating Places: A fine fire station
Designed by the Brentwood office of Thomas, Miller & Partners, the new hall (my photo is bad) offers various positives, including 1. a smallish, column-flanked pedestrian entrance that fronts Meridian; 2. a well-defined separation between Floors 1 and 2; and 3. (on the left side and topping the engine storage area) a hipped roof (rather unusual for a fire station, I would think). Also of note, the building features a metal roof. For better or worse, metal roofing has become commonplace in lots of industrial construction. And when that metal is red (picture a Mrs. Winner's building) or green (visualize countless suburban strip centers), the effect can be painfully unattractive and bland. Fortunately, the fire hall roof is gray metal and actually looks acceptable. In addition, the landscaping is quite tasteful.
A few minor quibbles: The building is a bit too horizontal — though the previously mentioned hipped-roof component and two mini-gabled roof elements lend some needed height. Also, the tops of the first-floor windows are positioned somewhat too closely to the eaves-like roof element separating Floors 1 and 2.
Overall, this is a very respectably designed civic building. Grade: B to B-plus.