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.
Monday, April 30, 2012
This old-school building in Hillsboro Village (the building home to Fido is barely seen on the left) is being altered, and I'm not sure why. I do recall the previous iteration of the building (home to a bridal shop) was ghastly, as it sported a wood shingled appendage that covered the cool Mills Bookstore signage portion of the facade. I also believe the brick portion of the face had been covered with stucco. To see the original brick exposed is very encouraging.
On the Mills Bookstore theme, I'm old enough to recall when Mills operated from the Village. However, the little bookstore last conducted business on the other side (the west side) of 21st Avenue. I once saw Roots author Alex Haley at that Mills. Impressed by the TV mini-series, I told Mr. Haley he did a fine job with the book -- despite my never having read it. To this day, I feel a bit guilty about that.
If anybody has any info on this project, please let me know.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
This developer-designer duo has become as consistent as John Carson and Eddie McMahon and as dependable as Lee-Lifeson-The Professor. The good people at Core sincerely believe in Nashville's urban core (thus, the company name) and in infilling emerging districts like Germantown and 12South.
One thing I like about the DA|AD aesthetic is the always-tasteful brick and Hardie siding colors the architectural entity favors. In addition, the company has mastered the use of the contemporary clerestory (which will not be incorporated in this unnamed building) and the art of combining vertical and horizontal forms.
Check the story here.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A recent visit to Germantown revealed that construction of Vista Germantown, its north face notwithstanding, is almost completed. And I must say the opinions from locals will vary wildly. Some will contend the building, designed by Nashville-based Southeast Venture, is outlandishly designed, an odd hodgepodge of shapes, materials and colors. For example, the north side (seen in the photo on near left and with cars) and the east side both have surface areas (not including doors, windows, signage and railings) with eight different colors. I was not so OCD enough to count the total number of colors between the two sides but it must be at least 10. Critics likely will lambaste this feature. (I can foresee the laughs: "It looks like somebody ate a bunch of crayons and vomited.") But somehow this multi-colored approach works for me, in part because there is no other building in Nashville with such a varied color palette. The colors alone render Vista Germantown truly eye-catching. Another interesting design feature involves the building's northeast and northwest corners. The former leads to a space that will soon house the restaurant Silo, while the latter (seen in the photo to the far left) takes the pedestrian into the leasing/marketing/management office. It's rare to see a Nashville building with two activated corners.