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, January 27, 2013

Creating Places: My type of building Part 5

Take a look at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center, located on 25th Avenue across from Memorial Gymnasium on the VU campus. This is a fine example of a contemporary building that should age  well (unlike some other 21st Century structures, whose experimental aesthetics suggest outdatedness will loom sooner rather than later). With the VU SLC, the width-to-height proportionality is well executed, as is the limestone-and-glass combination. Also, note at center right a nice touch with the window forms that contrast with those on the left. The Nashville firm Gilbert | McLaughlin | Casella Architects designed this handsome building and earns a solid B-plus for its efforts.


  1. You actually like something that does not have a dark exterior color?

    Maybe you've finally seen the light!