BEAMAN PARK NATURE CENTER, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
Part of the Master Plan for Parks and Greenways, the project scope included the design of three buildings located in three different Metro Parks natural areas (Shelby Bottoms Greenway, Beaman Park and Bells Bend Park). A conceptual master plan for each center campus was also developed focusing on site features and growth. Each design centered around the unique site opportunities/ constraints of three very different parks and feature natural, contextual materials with an emphasis on exposed structural elements. The designs maximize sustainable design and building practices, materials and operation including a specific “green” focus for each of the centers. Design decisions were treated as teaching opportunities to showcase sustainable design practices so that the buildings would become education exhibits themselves.
Located in Beaman Park, a 1500-acre nature area featuring Highland Rim forests, unique plants species tucked into steep slopes, narrow hollows with streams and waterfalls, the 2,200 sq.ft. Beaman Nature Center is perched on the edge of a forested ridge with telephone pole columns that “lightly” touch the site below. The existing dense trees surrounding remain close to the building – so that the structure has a “tree-house” feel – especially at the rear as the site drops off below viewing decks. Green features include a geo-thermal heat pump system, pervious concrete walks, re-use of trees from the site for the wood mantle and other details. Landscaping includes only plants that are native to the site requiring no irrigation.