Resources for AIA Tennessee architects. You can also find recent advocacy news at AIATN’s Advocacy Central.

2018 AIA TN Lifetime Award Nominations Now Open

Categories Lifetime Awards, News, Resources | Tagged , , , , ,


The AIA Tennessee Board of Directors is currently accepting nominations for the William Strickland Lifetime Achievement and the Samuel Morgan Lifetime Service Awards.These awards are the highest honors that AIA Tennessee can bestow on an individual. They are conferred by the AIA Tennessee Board in recognition of a significant body of work influencing the built environment. Any individual living or dead, who the Jury believes qualified, is eligible to receive the William Strickland or Samuel Morgan Awards. Architects and individuals who have exhibited a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture will be honored with these awards.

Nomination Information: Nominations must be made by an AIA Tennessee Member. Download the 2018 AIA TN Lifetime Awards Nomination Form.

Deadline: All submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m., March 30, 2018.

Award Information: The awards ceremony to announce the recipients will occur at the AIA Tennessee State Convention. No more than one such award shall be made in any year for each award.

Submission: All submission materials must be included as one single file smaller than 6 MB. Save file as PDF, and reduce the PDF size in Adobe Acrobat via the “document” menu.

Questions: For any questions, please contact David Powell via email at


Categories Design Awards, News | Tagged

AIA Tennessee is pleased to announce the AIA Tennessee 2017 Design Awards.  To salute excellence in architecture, AIA Tennessee conducts an annual Design Awards Program.  This program honors built works of distinction designed by AIA Tennessee members.  The program also brings to public attention outstanding examples of architecture.

Mark Weaver, FAIA, principal at HBG Design in Memphis, chaired the Design Awards Program.  Mr. Weaver selected Ron Stelmarski, AIA, of Perkins + Will, Dallas, TX, to act as Jury Chair.  Completing the impressive jury were Kelly Mitchell, AIA, of Mitchell Garman Architects, Coy Talley, ASLA, of Talley Associates, James D. Looney, AIA, IIDA, of Looney + Associates and Gary Cunningham, FAIA, of Cunningham Architects.

Ten projects were chosen from a field of 98 submittals, all of which received thoughtful consideration. From the overall field, the jury noted “the work was not stylistic, but very rooted in place.”  Commenting further, “We reviewed a broad range of work that illustrated a genuine investment in the cities of Tennessee. There was a strong appreciation for the renovation and transformation projects due to their influence on the community fabric and the linking of the past to the present.”

“We recognized projects that we felt were most consistent and holistic and were executed on all levels: concept, exterior, interior, craft.”  A strong, clear response to context was important to the jury.

“We were also looking for a certain amount of risk or design adventure.”

NOTE: Click on the photos to view a larger image. 


Education Center for Beardsley Community Farm (Knoxville, TN)
Jennifer Akerman, AIA and the University of Tennessee College of Architecture + Design with Elizabeth Eason Architects (Knoxville, TN)

This Education Center was designed and built by architecture students and faculty in collaboration with professionals to serve a non-profit urban farm.

Photos by Bruce Cole Photography and Jennifer Akerman

Jury Comments

  • The jury truly admired the school and students for taking-on this project.
  • It’s nice to be schooled by the students sometimes…
  • The jury felt this project was an example of thoughtful design investigation that should occur with all architecture.
  • The final result was not overshadowed by the process and exhibits a thorough resolution at all scales.
  • The design is a sophisticated combination of conditioned and sheltered/non-conditioned space that maintains an appropriate presence on the site.
  • The jury recognized the cohesion that exemplifies teamwork with a modest budget and fast schedule.

85 Union (Memphis, TN)
Looney Ricks Kiss (Memphis, TN)

The project is a complete building rebranding and renovation to transform an under-performing 17,000-square-foot building located on a prime corner into a unique mixed-use downtown address.

Photos by Ken West Photography

Jury Comments

  • This project caught the attention of the jury with its strong, urban move. It was a very civic-minded solution to an important corner site.
  • The designers addressed the scale and speed of the city in a way that contributes to the experience of this site.
  • The design team brought much-needed punctuation the urban street wall.
  • Interestingly, the new architecture creates such an event that the adjacent buildings and parking garages visually “go away.”
  • The jury liked how the building was “turned inside-out” to engage the city.

Tech901 (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

A Memphis, TN based nonprofit required a new space for training and collaboration, capable of adapting for multiple functions related to the information technology industry.

Photos by Hank Mardukas Photography

Jury Comments

  • All the parts hang together for a complete design thought.
  • This project had minimal intervention, yet the most impact. The jury felt the organizing spine was an important navigational element.
  • The jury kept coming back to this project’s use of material textures and color values. They all work well together with a raw, natural undertone.
  • We appreciated that in an all concrete shell, the designers were brave enough to “add more concrete.”

The Chisca on Main (Memphis, TN)
Looney Ricks Kiss (Memphis, TN)

This historic rehabilitation is an incredible turn-around story illustrating how good design can transform a decades long derelict structure encompassing an entire city block into the missing link between a thriving arts district and the downtown core.

Photos by Ken West Photography

Jury Comments

  • This project was recognized and appreciated for the massive undertaking, breathing new life into a building that could have been a blind spot or even an albatross to its community.
  • The jury noted how the existing structures were refreshed with enough authentic care and sophisticated intervention that it did not lose the integrity of the original.
  • The outdoor, between-spaces were links that gave strong cohesion the full-block development.

Memphis Teacher Residency (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

A non-profit organization required a new space for recruitment, training and supporting teachers through an urban teacher residency graduate program.

Photos by Hank Mardukas Photography

Jury Comments:

  • The jury felt this project had a strong presence in the atrium of a building and brought the public realm up, into the space…a storefront in the sky.
  • There was a clear, consistent narrative: wood to books to knowledge that informed the material choices and their distribution.
  • The singular book table was a powerful organizing element in the already long space.
  • The design approach gave an appropriate scale to the large warehouse space.

Mama Gaia Organic Restaurant (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

An organic restaurant that reflects the owner’s values through a natural material palette, honest forms, and straightforward detailing with the budget of a startup.

Photos by Hank Mardukas Photography

Jury Comments:

  • The space was masterfully optimized. A lot was accomplished with very little added.
  • The jury appreciated the response to the existing structure; the patina of the original space seemed to inform the color selection.
  • The room-within-a-room was carefully composed and did a good job of feeling casual.
  • There was a level of refinement to the scale of the detail and furniture, but didn’t overdo it.
  • The detailing concept was recognized for being consistent with the restaurant’s brand – raw, whole foods.

921 B. Woodland Street (Nashville, TN)
Pfeffer Torode Architecture (Nashville, TN)

The project transformed an unfinished basement in an existing block building into a light filled creative office.

Photos by Nick McGinn Photography

Jury Comments:

  • This project was admired for the “architectural excavation” approach the design team took.
  • The design was intelligent and required serious vision, risk and likely some convincing.
  • The jury admittedly had difficulty understanding the site without any plans or section drawings.
  • It not only renovated a space, but provided a completely new way of experiencing the building.
  • The design offered the jury an unexpected result from what could have been an otherwise ordinary assemblage of spaces.
  • Small, important details, such as the window protruding from the wall exhibited a refinement at all scales.

Balter Beerworks (Knoxville, TN)
Sanders Pace Architecture & Trapp Associates LTD

The adaptive reuse of an existing automobile service station into a full-service restaurant and brewery located at a gateway intersection into Downtown Knoxville.

Photos by Bruce McCamish and Bruce Cole

Jury Comments:

  • The jury found this project to be an “architecture as narrative.”
  • There was a clever project narrative surrounding the nature of “fuel” considering a gas station had been transformed into a beerworks.
  • There was a very convincing transformation story. The existing and new components were clearly delineated in a way the jury felt enhanced the architecture of the whole.
  • The inclusion of sketch details helped tie the conceptual thinking to the final product.

Live at the Garden (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

An outdoor performance venue is woven into an existing botanic garden, along with parking, entry gateways, ticketing, restrooms, an event facility, and backstage support areas.

Photos by Hank Mardukas Photography

Jury Comments:

  • This project was recognized as a successful assemblage of buildings that merged with the natural environment; the architecture acting as a frame to the various events that occurred there.
  • The jury appreciated the collection of parts that operated independently but were held together by the site and as an episodic series of events.

Woodard Residence (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

A personal residence for a developer on an unused piece of land left from his recently completed mixed-use development adjacent to the rail.

Photo by Hank Mardukas Photography

Jury Comments:

  • This project got the attention of the jury for a number of reasons. It very convincingly addressed the context head-on. It is all about place. Adjacent to a highway in a compromised piece of land, it is an architecture of accumulation.
  • The building draws in the energy of the site as it becomes an urban marker or relic.
    We felt the massing and articulation was very artful and just well-proportioned with energizing scale-shifts.
    The materials are simple and relate well to the forms of the architecture.

AIA Tennessee Recognizes 2017 Lifetime Awards Honorees

Categories Lifetime Awards, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

James F. Williamson, FAIA, and Major General Jeff Holmes, AIA, received the highest honors that AIA Tennessee can bestow on an individual during the 2017 AIA Tennessee Conference on Architecture.

The two awards, William Strickland Lifetime Achievement Award for the Profession of Architecture and Samuel Morgan Lifetime Service Award for Contribution to Architecture in the Public Realm, are conferred by the AIA Tennessee Board in recognition of a significant body of work influencing the built environment.

James F. Williamson, FAIA, of Memphis, received the 2017 AIA Tennessee William Strickland Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding design work, firm leadership, and service to the American Institute of Architects on the local, state, regional and national levels. Mr. Williamson’s distinguished 43-year career has combined design practice and teaching, and in both cases, he has pursued the highest standards of architectural excellence. His contributions to design and architectural education have repeatedly received national and internal recognition by his colleagues. As a designer, teacher, preservationist, and advocate for design excellence, Mr. Williamson has set a standard to which ever architect should aspire.

Major General Jeff Holmes, AIA, of Nashville, was awarded the 2017 AIA Tennessee Samuel Morgan Lifetime Service Award for his impressive achievements both his career as well as service to our country. He is the Deputy Adjutant General, Tennessee National Guard. He is responsible for assisting the Adjunct General in his duties of training and supervising more than 13,000 soldiers in the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard. Major General Holmes is also a licensed architect and has designed multiple international projects as well as federal projects including facilities at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and the Joint Forces Headquarters for the Tennessee National Guard in Nashville. His problem-solving abilities and creativity as an architect have served him well in our Armed Forces. Major General Holmes has not only made our buildings and facilities better, but he has also kept our nation safe and free.

These awards were given at an Awards Gala held during the AIA TN Conference on Architecture while their families, friends and professional colleagues helped them celebrate.

AIA’s Public Outreach Tools

Categories Advocacy, News, Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

AIA National’s Board recently approved several initiatives that is intended to raise the visibility and understanding of architecture and the profession with targeted audiences. Take a look below at some of the latest developments:

Architect’s Voice Message Book

Do your part! Would you like to get involved in the public awareness campaign?

The greatest impact you can have is through face-to-face, one-on-one communication with potential clients, community leaders, local businesses and in your schools.

The Architect’s Voice message book has tested messages to improve how you and your peers describe to key audiences the value architects bring to any project.

Topic Architecture

Topic Architecture, also known as TopicA, is the AIA’s public-facing website to further show how great design can change lives.

The site will build awareness and consideration of architecture services among potential clients. As the leading edge for our public awareness efforts,

Topic Architecture will engage visitors with effective editorial content that’s easy to digest so that they can reach the decision stage to hire an architect. (

Learn more about Blueprint for Better here.

Gulf States Honor Awards Program – Call for Entries

Categories Design Awards, News | Tagged , ,

The AIA Gulf States Region Honor Awards Program celebrates the quality of Architecture in our region and pays tribute to our deserving Architects for their design excellence. Philip E. Black, AIA (Simonton Swaika Black Architects, Inc., Birmingham) is our Program Chair for the 2017 Honor Awards. Award recipients will be announced and awards presented at the Gulf States Regional Reception and Honor Awards Friday April 28, during the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.

There are three steps to the entry process:

  1. Submit entry form, fee and classification by January 20, 2017.
  2. You will receive a Code Number and complete PowerPoint template for each entry via email.
  3. Submit your entry via UPLOAD by 5:00 p.m. on February 20, 2017. No submittals will be accepted via email.


For more information, please dowload the:  

Gulf States Honor Awards – Rules and Entry Form


Questions? Call Sheila Leggett at 615-254-1233.

POLL: Tennessee’s Top 25 “Must See”

Categories News, Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

We need your help! USA Today Travel and AIA National are seeking Tennessee AIA members’ input on the 25 “Must See” buildings in the state of Tennessee that tourists shouldn’t miss! The projects can be award-winning architecture, projects of the century or even pieces designed by famous architects. It’s up to you!


We need your input compiling the top 25 that highlights the beauty of our state!  We will compile the results and hope that USA Today produces an article similar to this one: USA Today – 40 Must-See Structures in Scotland.

AIA Tennessee Recognizes 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards Honorees

Categories Lifetime Awards, News | Tagged , , , ,

David L. Wooley, FAIA, Marleen Kay Davis, FAIA and T.K. Davis, FAIA received the highest honors that AIA Tennessee can bestow on an individual during the 2016 AIA Tennessee Annual Meeting and Convention held in Chattanooga.

The two awards: “William Strickland Award for Lifetime Achievement” and the “Samuel Morgan Lifetime Achievement Award” are conferred by the AIA Tennessee Board in recognition of a significant body of work influencing the built environment.
Architect David Wooley received the 2016 AIA Tennessee “William Strickland Award for Lifetime Achievement” for his outstanding design work, firm leadership, and service to the American Institute of Architects on the local, state, regional and national levels. In addition, Mr. Wooley was a gifted and popular design professor at the University of Tennessee, helping to mold and nurture young talent.
Professors at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Marleen Kay Davis and T.K. Davis, were jointly awarded the 2016 Samuel Morgan Lifetime Achievement Award for their impressive achievements both in and out of the academic setting.
Marleen Davis served as the Dean of the UT College of Architecture + Design from 1994-2003, introducing significant new curriculums, while raising its exposure on the national scene. An effective and creative professor for over twenty years, she was always in the forefront of community efforts. Her awards have been celebrated by local, state, national and international organizations.
The accomplishments of T.K. Davis are no less impressive, having served as the Design Director of the Nashville Civic Design Center. He remains one of the most effective instructors in the Masters Program at UT; and is also involved in collaborative teaching with Vanderbilt University.
All three honorees have also received the highest achievement awarded by their profession; the American Institute of Architects named each of them a Fellow in AIA.
These awards were given at an Awards Gala held during the AIATN state convention in Chattanooga while their families, friends and professional colleagues helped them celebrate.

2016 Design Award Winners are…

Categories Convention, Design Awards | Tagged , , ,

The AIA TN 2016 Design Awards were announced during the state convention in Chattanooga on August 25, 2016. To salute excellence in architecture, AIA Tennessee conducts an annual Design Awards Program. This program honors built works of distinction designed by AIA Tennessee members. The program also brings to public attention outstanding examples of architecture.

Scott Busby, AIA, principal at Smee + Busby Architects in Knoxville, chaired the Design Awards Program. Mr. Busby selected Paul Woolford, AIA, LEED AP, Design Principal for HOK San Francisco, to act as Jury Chair. Completing the impressive jury were David Lennox – Campus Architect for Stanford University, Allison Williams – Design Principal AECOM San Francisco, Edgar Lopez – Architect of the City of San Francisco and Catherine Veikos – Chair of the Interior Design Program, and a Professor at the California College of Arts.

Fourteen projects were chosen from a field of 95 submittals, all of which received thoughtful consideration. “We’re admiring of much of what was shared with us, and we thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts with your community. Our jury used two perspectives of design critique to make a determination of whether or not a project was deserving of an award; firstly, is it an example of “best in class” for its building typology, or, does it take a familiar typology, and say something “in an original way”.

Several significant patterns emerged: projects explored familiar typologies; house, church, office building, theater and public infrastructure….within the boundaries of budgets, schedules, and challenging site & spatial conditions, design creativity flourished,….and most importantly, at their best, these projects redefined our expectations of what we think of when we imagine these building types.

The awarded projects all embody the art and intelligence of what we aspire to in design, and we are so proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of all those involved in their creation.”
– Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP

A+M Residence (Sardis, MS)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

Sited in a cattle pasture in rural Mississippi, this house is a retreat for an active couple to escape busy city life. Appreciating the simple agrarian structures of the region, the clients requested a house that was simple and clean, yet tough and durable. The owners are avid chefs and enjoy outdoor activities.
The simple form of the shed profile creates a gable when combined with the projection to the rear which frames the pool. The entry sequence begins with a courtyard that punctures the roof and is framed by the screen porch and carport. The screen porch, rear covered porch and the outdoor dining space extend the interior space for outdoor entertaining. The linear organization of the interior spaces allows the inhabitants to maintain a visual connection to the pastoral landscape from any room in the house. The location of the dog yard and laundry were integral to the design because of the large rescue animals the owners save. A centrally located storm room with concrete walls and ceiling offers a refuge during storms and doubles as a wine cellar. Clad in galvanized metal, the house reflects the changing colors of the sky and landscape and melds into the tall pasture grass much like the old barns of the region.

Jury Comments
• The project is a wonderful example of taking a familiar typology: the single family house, and providing an original and creative voice for it.
• Introduced through site plan and photographs, the house and landscape engage in a remarkable conversation of plane and object.
• Simple, minimal and rigorous, there isn’t a false move made, and the integrity of the design shines through.
• The reflective quality of the house cladding, create an environment where the big sky country of its surroundings become one with the house itself.
• We could have gone on, but like the house itself,…less is more.

The Bridge Elevator (Nashville, TN)
Hastings Architecture Associates (Nashville, TN)

The Bridge Elevator rises as the iconic beacon for Nashville’s new Riverfront Redevelopment, while serving as the accessible conduit between The East Bank and the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. Exploiting the need to have what results in a new vertical element rising out of the heart of the new East Bank Parks, the elevator was designed as a celebration, becoming a beacon for the greater redevelopment initiative.

Jury Comments
• The jury felt that the architects took what could have been mundane and/or forgotten infrastructure and turned it into a brilliant landmark of the public realm
• The diagrams of the changing light were engaging, clear, and strong, providing a powerful tectonic statement.
• This simple and strong form, clad in a rigorous, reductive cloak, and reimagined as day falls into night, through provocative lighting creates a powerful urban design statement.
• We as a jury all shared, that we would go out of our way to find this tower, and Instagram it with our friends & colleagues.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

This is the long-awaited new home of a Midtown Presbyterian church. The congregation purchased a small 1960’s building in Midtown that once served as a shelter for battered women. To meet their modest budget, we concentrated the budget on the worship space and the building’s exterior relationship to the street, making minimal improvements to back-of-house spaces. On the exterior, a simple treatment of paint, the addition of a weathering steel parapet and low site wall bounding a street-side outdoor gathering space, and a new large window to the streetscape generate an active presence on Cooper. It welcomes visitors as the gathering space and window draw the activity within to the street. Inside, one enters beneath a low ceiling of acoustical, highly textural tectum panels before the space opens up to deck, maximizing the height of the low structure. North-facing light monitors popu late the space, emphasizing the feeling of height and affording glimpses of sky and natural light to every member of the congregation. The low tectum ceiling returns at the stage, accentuating the pulpit with a single penetration of natural light. A language of sealed MDF ‘light-givers’ populates the space: the window boxes filter light from the southern openings, the simple handmade light fixtures activate the tectum ceiling and the light monitor liners funnel natural light to the congregation. These strategies work together to heighten the worship experience.

Jury Comments
• The jury felt that this project took a familiar typology of a neighborhood parish church, employed the renovation of a non-descript commercial building as the bones of the structure, and created a project of vision and beauty that speaks with a truly original voice.
• The interior environment exposes the existing structure, through the introduction of new skylight monitors it bathes the space in natural light, and epitomizes a long standing tradition of ecclesiastical design that is simple, straight-forward, flexible and honest.
• A careful, subtle layering of material and spatial moves transform the commercial building into a place of worship; beginning at the sidewalk, the designers introduced cobbled pavers to mark transition and threshold, they added Corten steel panels to reconceived the façade with simple planes and raw materials in lieu of finely wrought ornament, and finally they reimagined the alter itself by cladding the rear wall of the room in the material of the cross; raw, unfinished wood. This project is a gorgeous, transformational example of the profane becoming the sacred.
• Of all the projects submitted, the jury felt this was an extraordinary example of the most dramatic transformation with the least number of design moves. Brilliant architecture on a budget that everyone can afford.

Mask House (Nashville, TN)
Hastings Architecture Associates (Nashville, TN)

Mask house is a new single family residence for a couple who, after recently retiring from a long career in the public eye, requested a design whose exterior would obscure the true nature of the home
beyond. The client requested a new residence that would throw off many of the images and requirements of their former profession, and instead begin to describe a quieter, private life, more suited to family gatherings, personal business interests and general daily living. To this end, the client requested a home of ample light, warm materials and large expanses of glass; organized around an outdoor living area. Simultaneously, they desired a home with little to no visual connection
to the street. The architectural interpretation of this tension was inspired by Venetian masks found within their extensive art collection. The “mask” developed into a series of walls through which a protected path was created, thereby transitioning guests from a formal, nearly impenetrable motor
court to the warmth and openness of the residence waiting on the other side.
Jury Comments:
• This project puts forward a clear vision for why the design should occur, and how it evolved from the inspiration of the owner’s collection of tribal art.
• The diagrams and supporting materials were thoughtfully orchestrated, leaving the jury with the sense that the owner and architect were clearly in sync.
• The simple idea of a house being spatially layered from the public to the private is beautifully and poetically executed in this project; obvious in every aspect of its design, from the site plan, to the house as an object, finally to the smallest detail.
• The spatial layering is intelligently executed in the three primary environments, the entry auto-court provides a transition zone from the public realm,…the concrete walls and Corten steel “mask” mark the moment of public to private transition, and then the house gathers around a courtyard where the transitions from inside to outside are gently blurred.
• This project is a clear example of interpreting a familiar typology in an original voice.

Indigo Women’s Boutique (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

This renovation is a rebrand a women’s boutique within the minimal tenant improvement
allowance. A series of planes and objects perform both functional and branding roles for the store.
The tenant space is treated as a painted shell, placing a landscape of planes and objects inside the shell to perform various functions. A white oak floor plane grounds the store sales area and wraps the display platforms in the storefront windows. In the store’s center, a portion of the floor plane is raised, separated, and bent to create two folded planes. The folded planes bookend a mirrored volume (a storage closet and a room-sized mirror) and shelter other objects: plaster changing rooms and a dark wood-veneered cash wrap. Light boxes that provide indirect lighting and display shelving are embedded in the folded planes. The area uncovered by the raised folded planes is lined with an indigo-dyed carpet. Two thickened white framing planes, held off the shell on both of the store’s long sides, contain niches for clothing display. All display fixtures are recycled from the old store and re-clad with the dark wood veneer of the cash wrap. In an environment where retail success hinges on the ability to showcase a wide and constantly changing array of inventory, the design uses scale and natural materials as formatting devices, creating a template for the diverse content it holds.

Jury Comments:

  • This project is an elegantly reductive re-thinking of what retail spaces can be. It uses minimal forms & materials to create a handsome and thoughtful environment. We found the project to be as intelligent as it is beautiful.
  • Thoughtful and clear diagrams were key to our understanding the design parti.
    Simple construction means of exposed structural elements (metal studs) create a spatial sense of lightness and floating objects.
  • The modest, clean design creates a sense of hierarchy with the central core giving the quality of a museum exhibit, and the use of recessed niches magnifies the artifacts on display.

Ascend Amphitheater (Nashville, TN)
Smith Gee Studio (Nashville, TN) with Hodgetts + Fung

Ascend Amphitheater, situated within Nashville’s Riverfront Park, is a 6,800 patron music venue designed to augment its surrounding green space during nonperformance days. Inspired by contours reminiscent of vintage amplifiers and instruments, along with historic limestone bridge piers and industrial steel river structures once prominent along the Cumberland Riverfront, the amphitheater’s simple bold form serves as a new symbolic masthead for Music City.

Jury Comments:
• This project is a bold urban stroke that will brilliantly impact Nashville for generations to come.
• The creative interpretation of the amplifiers in the design brings an almost subconscious music memory to visitors. They could imagine the patrons knowing that this was something that they had seen before but could not quite put their finger on when and where!
• The materials of the amphitheater: stone, woods & metals handsomely exemplify a modern interpretation of traditional regional architecture.
• The Amphitheater and surrounding park are one of the most important civic gestures in Nashville in generations, and provide a lesson for all communities in revitalizing their urban cores through the public realm.


The Consortium MMT – Talent Development Complex (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

This main street storefront provides a growing non-profit with a visible presence and a recording space for the development of emerging talent. The space provides the client with a resource lobby for
engaging the public and a recording environment for aspiring musicians, engineers, and vocalists. The clarity of color, shape, and rhythm facilitate the integration of a progressive environment within
the context of a downtown streetscape and a historical building. The resource lobby promotes collaboration along an extended media bar and dynamic gathering spaces, which has flexible seating for workspaces, a lecture, or casual conversation configurations. By delineating the programmatic zones with specific colors, users are informed how each space is intended to be activated. Three individual vocal booths organize the workshop space, which is terminated by a larger room for ensemble or drum tracking. The non-profit evaluates and accepts applicants to the program, which provides mentorship, access to state-of-the-art recording spaces and equipment, and an intimate performance room for rehearsals and special events.

Jury Comments:
• This project is notable for the plan drawings that readily explain the design logic, which is just as clear in its spatial experience.
• A figural palette of striking & bold colors set against a background field of white and charcoal creates a vibrant interior environment.
• The space employs a spare organization of a really slender, long shell space, and a jam packed functioning program. The aspect ratio of the space could have been overwhelming, but it ironically advantages the design.
• Keeping the existing ceiling creates a sense of the space being a palimpsest.
• Each programmatic zone becomes in itself a mini stage for work or performance,…or both.

Contemporary Women’s Health (Knoxville, TN)
BARBERMcMURRY architects (Knoxville, TN)

This project is a new medical office for a women’s care group to provide for spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. A respite housed within a calming & nurturing environment. This east Tennessee, women led OBGYN practice sought a new building that would reflect their core beliefs in holistic medicine. The exterior architecture should be light and minimal, a building draped in white, while the interior bathed in warm daylight, utilizing natural materials with minimal visual clutter. The medical clinic would be a simply organized, functional office that would allow the two doctors their own exam corridors each served with shared support. All of which designed to minimize the stress on their patients.

Jury Comments
• This project is a wonderful example of taking a familiar typology, in familiar surroundings and creating a best in class result.
• The project uses a palette of inexpensive materials, articulated in a clear and elegant way, to project simplicity and intelligence.
• The blurring of boundaries between inside and outside the building is particularly effective.
• This building improves the human condition for those who will use this facility for their health, and the rest of us who may never step within its doors, but will regularly see it in our built environment. It reminds us to lift our aspirations whenever we can.

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. Administrative Building (Memphis, TN)
archimania and Self + Tucker Architects (Memphis, TN)

To modernize the 12-story Shelby County Administrative Building by providing more efficient planning, better work flow, and an energy efficient envelope with new building systems.

Jury Comments
• The jury felt that this type of renovation; rather than demolish and rebuild, offers an important civic lesson for revitalizing our mid-twentieth century built heritage.
• The project was fastidious in honoring what was good design from a previous era, while bringing forward a contemporary approach to building systems and work place.
• The notion of taking a building from another era, and reimagining it as an important statement of sustainability for today, encouraged the jury to acknowledge the importance of this project.

Saratoga Springs House (Saratoga Springs, NY)
BAUER ASKEW Architecture (Nashville, TN)

Designed to evoke the effortless minimalism of an upright New England colonial, this home is classically ordered with a quiet, sophisticated, and timeless presence. Sited midblock this unusually narrow lot allows a present-day adaptation of the Colonial and Greek revival residential architecture of the neighborhood. Strictly adhering to the governing zoning regulations and architectural covenants the home was designed to be distinct yet compatible with the neighboring houses. Researching historic precedents and adapting these to a 21st century model allows the design to reflect the historic roots of the neighborhood in a modernist manner.

Jury Comments
• This project sparked one of the most vigorous debates on the use and appropriateness of historical precedents in contemporary society, but as a jury we felt that the architecture was a clear example of taking a familiar typology of a “house” and creating a best in class example of what that can mean.
• The project was introduced through a series of diagrams; which thoughtfully analyze the historical house as typology. Rather than diminish the project, they evidenced the architects understanding of the origins of design taxonomy, and provided foundation for the jury’s evaluation.
• This project was recognized for providing a rigorous and reductive exploration of an all too familiar residential vernacular: the Georgian and Greek influenced house.
• The careful, abstractive form making and rigorous detailing provide us with a welcome new expression of this familiar typology.

Red Cross of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

The client needed a new space to aid their organization’s growing outreach of volunteer training and disaster relief throughout the Mid-South. Faced with the task of a complete overhaul and a small budget, minimal but impactful design moves were needed to maximize the new space’s potential. Taking advantage of the existing parking lot, the main entrance was moved to the south side of the building. The new lobby, previously a cramped, one story hallway, was opened up to become a welcoming double height space with a feature staircase leading to the second floor. Offices and meeting spaces, both a priority for the organization, were incorporated into the building’s existing framework on both the first and second floor. Interiors were finished using a minimal monochrome color palette to contrast the pops of red used in the furniture throughout the project, as well as on the main staircase, highlighting the iconic identity of the organization.

Jury Comments
• With the most minimal of budgets, and a demanding, function driven program; this project evidences the simple truth that great design and budgets aren’t dependent upon one another.
• The use of an almost entirely “white” interior palette contrasted with a highly, sculptural stroke of the color “red” in the primary circulation stair, give a striking boldness to what could have easily been a modest design endeavor.
• The entry sequence of this renovation was reoriented and redone from the original building to great effect, and interior work place and gathering spaces were organized with great care.
• This project is a testament to creating much out of little means, and employing ideas over budget to create impact.

Ryman Auditorium Renovation/Expansion (Nashville, TN)
Hastings Architecture Associates (Nashville, TN)

A re-envisioning of The Ryman Auditorium’s “Front of House” as a respectful observance of the historic structure while celebrating its reinvigorated reputation as a venue sought after by a new generation of internationally recognized artists. In 1993, the original building was rescued from demolition through a significant restoration initiative. Over 20 years later, the success of the venue outgrew the ’93 addition. This 22,000 SF project reimagines the patron experience by enlarging and improving the main lobby, retail, ticketing, and restroom areas, while adding a new “3d pre-tour theatre” space, café and event space, and back-of-house offices. The new addition is a balance between the continuation of the existing architecture (including a new 1000 SF custom perforated copper feature wall) and a more contemporary glass “pavilion” stretching out to 4th Avenue to create new visibility from Broadway.

Jury Comments
• The jury felt that this project was an extraordinary example of “reclaiming” an important historical, cultural fixture, and giving it a new urban and civic relevance.
• The addition of a new building marquee, a public house for sharing drink and food, and exterior gathering & performance areas create a vital urban room, enlivening the spaces between neighboring structures, and reimagining the public realm for this part of the city.
• This project faced with the tough challenge of respecting the original building, keeping intact a non-descript 1990’s addition, and expanding the facility to accommodate expansion, provide a new identity to the organization,… managed to do all three with grace and beauty.

The Blues Foundation (Memphis, TN)
archimania (Memphis, TN)

The Blues Foundation set out to transform the street level and basement into a memorable experience that communicates the art, culture, and history of blues music. The design solution needed not only to define and organize spaces, but also conceal building systems for the rest of the three-story building. Three white planes suspended from the ceiling conceal the systems while signifying the first floor public program: retail and reception, lobby, and rotating gallery. The rotating gallery and lobby space serve multiple functions and can be transformed into an event space to accommodate the foundation’s
programs and gatherings. Large openings were carved into the south wall and floor of the building to provide access to the lower level hall of fame exhibit and to allow natural light into both levels. The plane over the central lobby leads visitors down to the exhibit by way of the grand staircase clad in wood salvaged from the demolition. A restrained material palette mixes the ‘white box’ art gallery feel with reclaimed wood and weathered steel, paying homage to the vernacular architecture of the delta region. On the exterior, a cantilevered canopy projects from the historical façade, announcing entry and opening toward the National Civil Rights Museum. This canopy contains signage, provides shelter for tour groups, and emanates a blue glow that, along with the bronze sculpture of Little Milton, have become a landmark within the arts district.

Jury Comments
• This is another fine example of a highly programmatic, function driven environment built within a modest budget. The project reinforces the simple truth that great design and budgets aren’t dependent upon one another.
• Color and material become lexicon for this project,…a palette of exposed concrete, reclaimed wood and an almost entirely “white” interior palette contrasted with a deep blue-lit entry canopy, provide visual contrast and excitement throughout.
• The design sets up a series of striking spatial environments, beginning at the sidewalk and continuing deep within the building. The use of well-done spatial transitions: compression at entry, expansion horizontally for program activation, and a striking sectional move of opening the ground floor to below, all add up to really handsome interior architecture.

Malibu Hillside House (Malibu, CA)
Michael Goorevich Architect, PLLC (Nashville, TN), Brian Guizot, Stephen Perloff & Stephen Billings

A south facing home overlooking the Pacific Ocean is reconfigured with the addition of a new pool, terrace, arbor and landscape. Combined, these elements create a visual ‘frame’ for viewing the sea and horizon. The project brings together light, shade, water and sky in an effort to blur the distinctions between wet and dry, here and there, inside and outside, above and below. In addition to the natural context, there was an ambition to create a construction that spoke to the projects architectural context. Invoking the midcentury spirit of Craig Ellwood and the unabashed bravado of John Lautner the new project hovers above its hillside site as an assertive object and a quiet frame. In this way we learned how to build next to the sea.

Jury Comments
• The jury believed that this project was predominantly new construction, and as such, we moved it into the New Construction category, none the less, we felt it worthy of accolade.
• A simple sketch of framing the space between the house and the sea and sky beyond explain the idea with no more elaboration required.
• The design consists of three simple moves, a parallel pool, a perpendicular deck, and an angular trellis to provide shade for the pool and terrace.
• Each design move was simple in idea, but gorgeously executed in detail.
• All of the jurors wanted to live here,…or at least enjoy a drink from the pool & terrace at the owner’s invitation!

Architectural Intern/Job Captain

Categories Job Bank, Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Blankenship & Partners, LLC has Open Position

Job Title
Architectural Intern / Job Captain

Job Description

Become a member of our design team, producing architectural documents through all phases on a variety of concurrent projects, large and small.  In collaboration with others, commit to meeting expectations for delivery, completeness, and accuracy.  A strong candidate is familiar with the design process and standard practices, is able to organize and prioritize tasks independently and effectively, and communicates clearly, promptly, and professionally with colleagues and associates.

Our innovative firm is vigorously engaged in several ambitious projects.  We welcome new faces and fresh ideas.

Minimum three years’ experience working in an architectural office; proficient user of architectural AutoCAD and MS Office.


Firm Address
6016 Brookvale Lane, Suite 110

Knoxville, TN  37919
United States

Contact Person
Bill Blankenship
(865) 251-2585
Contact Email

HD Architects Seeks Architect

Categories Job Bank, News, Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Architect Position

HD Architects is a Nashville-based firm made up of a talented team of design professionals.  With a focus on open communication, team work, and client service, we have a calling to help shape the built environment for the success of our clients, and ultimately, our communities.

Our high energy culture sets the stage for us to continuously look for potential growth and opportunities to expand the firm.  Individuals with interest in a fast-paced working environment, with multi-tasking ability, good organization and communication skills, and the initiative to manage and maintain projects without the need of direct supervision can submit their resume to

Salary based on qualifications and experience.