with Jason Butz
Project location: Nashville, TN

A new active neighborhood on the Cumberland river.
Nashville is no stranger to performance. Through its pervasive music industry and culture, it brings communities together. Intervals expands on the city’s commitment to integration, and provides a field of action as a communal neighborhood that promotes vitality. Already a regional center for many industries, Nashville now has the opportunity to be the capital of active and healthy living in the region.

Intervals is a landscape urbanism proposal that is simultaneously interested in the equilibrium and disequilibrium of the relationship between water, land, and the built-environment in floodplains. It challenges the common perception that land is a victim of water in the case of floods, and its accompanying rigid flood-wall boundaries, to propose a negotiated interface where the river, the land, and the built environment can co-exist actively.

Working model

NATURAL SYSTEM PRECEDENT: The proposal looks to sedimentary structures and fluvial geomorphology in the form of Avulsion as a natural precedent. Both reveal various organizations and behaviors that are critical systemic and formal precedents; particularly in regions that are prone to flooding. Just as Avulsion occurs when a river abandons a river channel and forms a more favorable one, so does the proposal provide options for new courses of the river, in case it were to flood. It avoids damage to the built-up landscape, and allows for continued usage while flooded. This way, the proposal diffuses the precedence that land takes over water in cases of floods.

Site Plan

PROGRAM: The proposal is for a recreational and health facility on a brownfield site within the floodplain of the Cumberland river in Nashville. Here, people can engage in a range of activities of varying intensities. In case of flooding, the built landscape continues to provide an armature that supports the storage and distribution of emergency supplies and services.

EXPRESSION: The project expresses itself in the form of swash lines in the ground. Over this, the building rises up in a porous manner, layered over 5 datums. As the river floods, various datums are progressively diffused to allow for a momentary exchange of water and land -- just like in the tidal dynamics of bedforms on river banks and active beaches.

Detail plan and section

Character profiles and Flood Plain Projection

Detail Sections