Tall wood structure for downtown Nashville designed by University of Tennessee students

In the Nashville Civic Design Centre’s Urban Design Studio Challenge, a group of students from the University of Tennessee’s School of Architecture Timber Tower Studio participated, presenting their work.

Taking advantage of timber structural systems that are able to hold up tall buildings with smaller carbon footprints as compared to those with typical methods, the students offered a more sustainable urban future with a 15-storey wood structure that would be located in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, United States (U.S.).

Over the course of a semester, the students paired their hands-on curriculum with input from industry professionals including Benton Johnson, associate director of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and a famed influencer in the urban mass timber trend; Yugon Kim, co-founder of IKD, a design firm; Ben Skoog, vice president of LP Building Products; and Nashville city officials who responsibilities focus on affordable housing, sustainability, as well as related areas.

“This opportunity to collaborate with community, industry and technical experts on this project has been crucial to the students’ experience,” Ted Shelton, an associate professor in the School of Architecture. “These are the types of partnerships that will be required if we are to design and construct cities that do more work while using energy that is as benign as possible.”

“As the construction boom in Nashville continues, sustainable urban building practices should be incorporated into every step of our urban planning and development, Gary Gaston, CEO of the Nashville Civic Design Centre (NCDC) and assistant professor of practice in the university, added. “The studio presents us with an opportunity to offer guidance on public policy and development practice in urban planning and design. We are fortunate to have found the intersection of the eager, emerging University of Tennessee architecture students with industry experts and organisations that will help the students prepare themselves – and ultimately our communities and resources – for the future.”

“The students are some of tomorrow’s best and brightest designers, and we look to them to continue meeting community needs through progressive approaches and sustainable building practices,” Skoog concluded.