January 5, 2018

University of Tennessee Architecture Students Design Tall Wood Structure for Nashville

Nashville Civic Design Center, LP Building Products and The Governor’s Chair on Urban Design partner to provide students urban design Timber Tower Studio challenge.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 5, 2018) – As the construction boom continues, sustainable urban building practices should be incorporated into every step of urban planning and development. Fourth year architecture students in the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design participated in the Nashville Civic Design Center’s (NCDC) Urban Design Studio challenge to design a wood-framed, high-rise multi-use structure.

On December 4, the architectural students participated in the final review of the 15-story Timber Tower Studio project, which was co-sponsored by Nashville-based LP Building Products, a leader in high-performance building solutions, and the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for High-Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments.

"The opportunity to collaborate with community, industry and technical experts on this project has been crucial to the students' experience," said Ted Shelton, associate professor in UT's 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 in a way that is as benign as possible."

The December final review summarizes the students' semester-long project to explore the conceptual design of a high-rise wood structure in downtown Nashville at Church Street and Polk Avenue. Over the course of the semester, the students paired their hands-on curriculum with input from industry professionals, including:

  • Benton Johnson, an associate at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, and an influencer in the urban mass timber movement
  • Yugon Kim, co-founder of design firm IKD, where art, architecture, material and making intersect
  • LP Building Products officials focused on progressive and sustainable building practices
  • Nashville city officials focused on affordable housing, sustainability and more

"The Urban Design Studio presents us with an opportunity to offer guidance on public policy and development practice in urban planning and design," said Gary Gaston, chief executive officer of the Nashville Civic Design Center. "We are fortunate to have found the intersection of the eager, emerging UT architecture students with industry experts and organizations like LP Building Products who will help the students prepare themselves-and ultimately our communities and resources-for the future."

"As an organization that seeks to find forward-thinking individuals, we were honored to be a part of this Urban Design Studio challenge," said Mike Sims, SVP of sales, marketing and strategy at LP Building Products. "The participating 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. At LP, we help designers and builders find the solutions they need, so we admire the students' innovative work to implement safe and sound building practices using sustainable wood materials.

NCDC will release a publication and exhibition of the student work in the spring of 2018, and anticipates further partnerships exploring innovative wood design and construction in the coming year.


About the Nashville Civic Design Center - Founded in 2000, the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to elevate the quality of Nashville’s built environment and to promote public participation in the creation of a more beautiful and functional city for all. The NCDC promotes the Ten Principles of The Plan of Nashville, offers public education on civic design, provides consultation on civic and other community development projects, facilitates public dialogue, and researches and publishes reports on various civic design issues. For more information, please visit www.civicdesigncenter.org.

About the University of Tennessee College of Architecture - Design. Make. Transform. Founded in 1965, the College of Architecture and Design enriches quality of life in the region and world through transformational design education, the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism, design/build program, key partnerships and award-winning facilities including the state-of-the-art Fab Lab.  The college is comprised of more than 420 undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture.  Visit archdesign.utk.edu to learn more.

About LP Building Solutions - As a leader in high-performance building solutions, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP Building Solutions, NYSE: LPX) manufactures engineered wood building products that meet the demands of builders worldwide. Its extensive offerings include innovative and dependable building products and accessories, such as LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, LP Structural Solutions portfolio (LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier, LP Legacy® Premium Sub-Flooring, LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier, LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing and more), oriented strand board (OSB), LP® TopNotch® Sub-Flooring, LP® Outdoor Building Solutions®, and LP Elements® Performance Fencing. In addition to product solutions, LP provides industry-leading service and warranties. Since its founding in 1972, LP has been Building a Better World by helping customers construct beautiful, durable homes. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, LP operates 26 plants across the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil. For more information, visit LPCorp.com.