KICKSTARTING SULPHUR DELL
Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
THE COMPETITION. “The ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition offers graduate students the opportunity to form their own multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use. Student teams comprising at least three disciplines have two weeks to devise a comprehensive design and development program for a real, large-scale site full of challenges and opportunities.”
THE CHALLENGE. The 2014 competition site was in Nashville, Tennessee in the downtown district of Sulphur Dell. Teams were asked to respond to the site’s proximity to key locations (the Tennessee state Capitol complex, the Cumberland River, and the new Nashville Sounds ballpark), to address the challenges of designing for healthy living, and to address how the neighborhood might withstand future flooding events.
THE DESIGN. The design proposal envisions a dynamic mixed-use urban development that will become an iconic, pedestrian-oriented, and health-focused downtown district. The focal point of the proposal is the Ironworks Building, a former iron factory along the bank of the Cumberland River. The proposal utilizes the existing steel-frame structure of the building to establish a multi-use flexible market space and create a new centerpiece for downtown Nashville. The design also establishes a new community center for local residents, a ‘festival street’ that creates a link between the Ironworks Building and the new Nashville Sounds ballpark, and a ‘kickstart’ incubator program that includes dedicated live-work housing units, designed specifically to enable residents to develop, showcase, and market their talents. In addition, the design enhances flood capacity and resiliency in Sulphur Dell through several integrated flood mitigation techniques.