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Ryman Auditorium Renovation and Expansion

The historic Ryman Auditorium is regarded as the Soul of Nashville and one of the most important buildings in the State of Tennessee. This 1892 National Historic Landmark originally hosted such performers as W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, and Louis Armstrong. Later, as the home of The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman introduced the original stars of Country and Bluegrass such as Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Bill Monroe thereby adopting the moniker “The Mother Church of Country Music”.

In 1993, the original building was rescued from demolition through a significant restoration initiative that also included a new “front-of-house” addition containing a new entrance and lobby, restrooms and a retail space. Over 20 years later, the success of the venue outgrew the 1993 addition, necessitating yet another expansion and renovation to the structure that was added over two decades earlier.

This 22,000-square-foot project, part renovation and part new addition, reimagines the patron experience by enlarging and improving the main lobby, retail, ticketing, and restroom areas, while adding a new “3d pre-tour theatre” space, café and event space, and back-of-house offices.

Because this project expands the addition previously completed in 1993, the design capitalizes on the opportunity for new branding. The new addition is a balance between the continuation of the existing architecture (including a new 1000-square-foot custom perforated copper feature wall) and a more contemporary glass “pavilion” stretching out to 4th Avenue to create new visibility from Broadway.

Location
Nashville, Tennessee
Size
22,000 square-foot renovation and expansion
Client
Ryman Hospitality Properties
Recognition
AIA Gulf States, Merit Award
AIA Tennessee, Merit Award
AIA Middle Tennessee, Honor Award
Metropolitan Historical Commission, Preservation Award
Photography
Albert Vecerka, Esto
Videography
Spirit of Space