City as a Stage – A Feasibility Study for a new type of community led residential development on the periphery of the American ‘music city’ of Nashville, Tennessee

After seeing a truly amazing performance, usually all we can remember is a feeling: a sentiment of awe ingrained into our minds that lasts much longer than our visual memories. Perhaps we remember the sounds and scents, maybe a costume – but in the end, what we rave to others about is how it made us feel.

In this sense, what makes a great play is also what makes a great city – the seamless operation and integration of all the moving parts that must come together in order for us to be able to admire the true spirit of the thing. The location, the behind-the-scenes setup, the infrastructure, the supporting elements – all of these are components vital to the success of a community. 

Nashville has a world renowned community. Country music is central to the city’s image and embodies themes of travel, faith, the honky tonk, imprisonment, self reliance, home and love. Though not exhaustive, country music helps to define our understanding of Nashville’s folk heritage.

Our concept explores how a housing proposal can act as a stage set or one large theatre, on which numerous plays, performances and stories can be told. Given the right environment, these stage sets can be flexible and adaptive allowing for a community to thrive and develop over time.

By identifying the distinct elements that make a city unforgettable – a plaza, a park, a connective tissue, a visual synchronicity – and integrating them into a masterplan set against the principles of adaptability, wellbeing and community, the proposal begins to define a new vernacular for Nashville: one that will revolutionise how we envision the evolution of our lifestyles.

We will be sharing a series of further posts over the coming weeks that build upon and explore three key principles, that of Adaptability, Community and Wellness, which together pioneer new ways of using public spaces to inspire positive social change.

The inherent characteristic of cities is that they are ecosystems where people can connect with each other, influence their environment, and contribute to community well-being. We strongly believe that place-making can play a powerful role in bringing people together to establish a healthy and productive community that can achieve collective greatness.