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Urban Trail

2012 // Nashville, TN, USA // landscape masterplan // competition   





We don’t understand urbanity of a city; we rather adopt the term urbanization in regards to its temporality and malleability, being a continuous metamorphic process of variations of what constitutes the city.

We claim the site as it is and only by including new layers of urbanization we increase the density of the neighborhood seriously affected by the industrial and parking lot peripheral desolation. We maintain the existing infrastructures as historical readings of the city of Nashville that independently of their architectonic value, they have a historical presence that supercharges any intended design that includes them. Each existing building is rethought as new artifacts with very specific functions (shading devise, agricultural roof) or as new spaces supporting sport related programs (Martial Arts Center, Children Sport World, Wealth Habits Center). The new layers projected into the preserved site have the difficult function of linking all the programs together at the same time they offer a healthy function themselves: urban trails.​

Following these principals our proposal is based on three main principals:​

Rehabilitation of existing infrastructures​
The design takes the existing industrial components as inspiration material for a new urban development. We aim to re-conceptualizing their space and adapt them through simple and individual reforms to convert them into new sport facilities. By creating new infrastructures in the site we develop a new conservation argument for the neighborhood. Although we maintain the basic morphological configuration of the existing buildings the site is completely reconfigure as the urban program is modified. Contrasting with the strong rehabilitation program we specifically insert 10 towers with mix uses (office 30% and residential 70%) into the site. The introduction of these programs responds to the necessity of securing permanent users to enliven the neighborhood and help new developed business to flourish with frequent clients. This way the city breaks into the site diluting the strong boundaries created by the Interstate 24 and the Korean Veterans Boulevard.​

Urban Trails​
Three “urban trails” resemble an irregular hilled landscape. “The Serpentine Trail” measures 7.5 miles and it encounters all the sport facilities along its twisted walk. It has several sections with deep angled slopes solved with steps and ramps while other sections have a more horizontal tendency. It serves as a place for appreciating the city surroundings from a broad number of points. “The Serpentine Trail” lands in multiple occasions touching ground, suggesting variations to the main trail line. In these ground landings the occupants will find stretching equipment or resting benches for convenient stops along the trail. The “Heart Track” measures 1.5 miles approximately and has a more horizontal trajectory. The track is a running line following the perimeter of the site and it touches ground only in 2 key points for access purposes. An extra trail system structures the ground floor doubling the walking line capacity of the site and establishing direct links between all the buildings. The last trail is the Riverfront Promenade.​

Riverfront Promenade​
All small trails lead to the riverfront promenade. This spacious walkway is placed along the river line and it touches the main sport programs, parking spots and several cafeterias, stores and recreational areas. The trail follows a parallel line behind the existing greenery near the water limit. A subdivision of the trail happens when it meets the canoeing and kayaking facilities and the water sports center starting two “Water Trails” which move outwards and into the water. A new pedestrian bridge connects with downtown Nashville in the mid-point of the river line. These trails create a river boundary with an easy access to the water in a safe and clean environment either to practice canoeing or swimming in the river (inner river zone) or fishing (outer river zone).

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