Stanza Pod Design Competition


4th and Ash Street
Nashville, Tennessee


Competition Spring 2019


78,700 SF


Green Island Investments Mark Cleveland

Shop Team:

James Kennon
Katherine Kennon
Daniel Alderman
Beasley Chantharath
Spencer McCarthy
Michael Kretz
Cary Sweat

Project Collaborators:

General Contractor:
DF Chase
Structural Engineer:
EMC Structural Engineers
Civil Engineering:
Civil Site Design Group


The competition asked us to take a new look at our assumptions and understandings of how a hotel and building should be shaped and arranged on the site. Our analysis started with the City of Nashville.  From the beginning of Nashville to today, there has always been a unique reason people came here.  It starts with the natural salt link that brought the deer to the area, which brought the hunters, which made it a trading point,  which brought the settlers… which…From every new reason to come to Nashville, it has obtained a new nickname and reputation, including Athens of the South, Wall Street of the South, Music City of the South, Desegregation Education Government Healthcare, and on. 

 We asked ourselves so how can we capture this idea of the specificness of place – we want the bars, lobby, social spaces, menus, food choices, artwork, stationary all to embody the specifics capturing the various reasons (past and present) that make Nashville a destination city through the characteristics of the place and with the unique art forms of Nashville. In the end, the goal would be for the hotel to Be: a place that you want to come back to in a city that you want to come back to.

 Through analysis we derived themes that shaped the design for the hotel including, minimalist design while embracing avant-garde technology; encouraging guests to experience Nashville not the hotel; roof top gathering space with stunning views of the City; speakeasy creating an intimate space; capturing the Nashville “IT CITY” movement and style.

 Our proposed Stanza Hotel seeks to engage the City around it at the street and the sky through the use of public space, shade and light.  The materials and forms reflect the limestone, brick and solar shading of Nashville’s icons while capturing in its imagery references to the landscape and City in which it stands. The overall design is one of three bars that maximize the site and provide central areas for circulation and gathering space.  This concept allows all sides of the building to have a view of the river, downtown or the hills beyond with each of those elements represented on the corresponding façade.  The depth on the façade creates shadows and movement enhanced with the use of frit and glass color selections.

 Arrival at the hotel is under a canopy reaching towards the intersection of 4th and Lafeyette Streets that creates an oasis of shade for guests and pedestrians.  Concrete pavers create a pedestrian scale pattern and texture that separates the piazza from the surrounding streets. The use of glass LED lit pavers allows the underside of the building to be lit.  Glow from the lobby and mezzanine help to fill this space.  Entering through the lobby, guests find a clean light filled space organized for efficiency while also allowing spaces for guests to meet and converse as they travel through the hotel.  The lobby is a two-story space that balances warm woods, crisp metals, light filled spaces with soft seating.

 Overlooking the lobby is a mezzanine floor that offers guests a place for grab and go breakfast or end of the day beer sharing.  Quietly hidden below the lobby is a warm intimate bar, a speakeasy that is uniquely accessed from the lobby through a “Harry Potter” style telephone booth.  The speakeasy is fitted with dark woods, brass and bronze metals, leather, and textured materials.  The overall room is a balance of light and dark - illuminated bar, soft indirect lighting, and creating quiet intimacy under the low ceilings.  The speakeasy is one of the two floors below grade with the remaining space utilized as building support. 

 The concept of a pod hotel room model opened up new possibilities with over 20 rooms per floor totally 273 rooms on 13 floors. Views of the City were incorporated on each floor. Gathering areas were placed on each floor for the hotel guests to assemble prior to moving out into the landscape and City. A typical pod room is 8’ x 14’ 6”, which is minimal space that offers a resting space while encouraging guests to enjoy the City.

 The rooftop bar was designed to be a beacon visible from Broadway and along the interstate sitting 188’ above the street level.  The bar’s color of lights tie into the music and events of the City; while its western facing room is the IT place to sit and capture a sunset as you check in with fellow travelers heading to common destinations.  The bar has an indoor and outdoor space with the outdoor space both covered and uncovered.  The bar is fitted with brass, leather, amplifier speaker cloth, terrazzo floors and historic and contemporary views of Nashville.  On the glazing, there is signage of points in Nashville and the distance to those points.

 Technology is a prominent feature in the design.  We proposed development of interactive social media apps which allow hotel guests to connect and share their stories with fellow visitors.  Guests would check-in and out of the hotel using the app.  The app will also remind guests to check on various social media platforms that allow guests can find information on activities and tours. Also, guests can share stories or other information they have gathered on the app that will be displayed on monitors around the hotel and bar areas.

 The proposed Stanza Hotel will be a destination at the cross-roads of new and old Nashville.