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.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Creating Places: My take on Westmont Apartments
1. The building shows impressive massing. In fact, it is horizontal enough that an additional floor would be nice so as to allow the structure to yield a more effective height-to-width ratio.
2. I like the amount of brick. The rendering suggests the building will be about 80 percent brick. I'm not certain about the other materials but I hope the base is made of stone (and not concrete).
3. On the base theme, notice how the upper floors at each of the various segments are well defined. Overall, there is nice proportionality.
4. The prominent main entrance and how it addresses a corner is a highlight. Very well done.
5. To the left and at the highest point on the side of that segment, we see an interesting traditional roof line element that, I assume, is a nod to the historic design features of the few old-school masonry buildings remaining in West End Park. Similarly, the structure does a solid job of combining traditional and contemporary elements (a fine example of the latter being the aforementioned entrance with its metal doors and metal awnings).
6. The top floors sport black metal railings framing what appear to be windows. I'm not optimistic that feature will be effective.
Overall grade: B