Hastings Architecture

Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, and Sustainability

Hastings Architecture

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Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

The new 30,000-square-foot addition to Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing was initially conceived as a vertical expansion of the existing Frist Hall to accommodate the School’s continued growth and ensure the School will continue to attract and recruit the best health sciences students and faculty. After initial programmatic development proved vertical expansion infeasible, the design team proposed an innovative atrium-based approach. With the expansion displacing a heavily-utilized open space, the design team saw an opportunity to introduce a new outdoor gathering area and remove existing surface parking. This approach enabled the long-term protection of the second oldest trees on campus.

A new, four-story atrium connects Godchaux Hall, Frist Hall, and the Nursing Annex and serves as the School’s new main entrance and lobby. The glazed façade stitches together differing levels between the existing building and addition, highlights the juxtaposition between old and new, and fills the atrium with natural light. On the interior, a wood slat wall connects ceiling and wall elements and acts as an acoustical treatment in the active volume.

"The program, now a national leader in its education facilities, houses technologically-advanced classrooms, conference and seminar rooms, student services offices, faculty offices and a state-of-the-art simulation teaching lab that will allow for complex skills development and real-time feedback on students’ clinical nursing skills. The building’s virtual classroom incorporates leading-edge technology to facilitate distance learning and web-based instruction. The interactive classroom facilitates large and small group interactions with smart display technology that allows for sharing of group data and findings. Unimpeded views of the surrounding campus and downtown Nashville can be seen from a fifth-floor conference room and green roof terrace."
— Susan Wente, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Designated LEED Gold, several sustainable and wellness features are incorporated into the building, including accessible daylight for all classrooms, public spaces and private offices; material selections that support indoor air quality; and red-list free product considerations. The building is Vanderbilt’s pilot project for WELL Building Certification.

Noteable WELL Features
A. Low-Emitting Materials tested to meet Volatile Organic Compounds standards support healthy indoor air quality
B. Green Roof overlooking the campus provide connection to nature
C. Optimum Reverberation is created by balancing room shape and size, and material absorption to facilitate optimal speech intelligibility
D. Flexible Work Stations allow occupants to adjust their sit-stand desks and monitors, and tune lighting to best suit each individual
E. Radiant Heating warms the atrium floor and naturally rises, providing the warmest air at occupant level
F. Wood Feature Wall made from site-harvested trees, along with wood finishes, colors, and textures, support occupant connection to nature
G. Monumental stair encourages occupants to traverse all levels, promoting casual interaction and physical fitness
H. Skylights flood the atrium with natural light and save energy
I. Interior Windows provide interior offices with natural daylight and views into the atrium
J. Entry Vestibule creates a new "front door" and captures dirt and particulates to reduce the outdoor pollutants
K. Fins Curtain Wall Shading allows light to enter the atrium while shading the glass to mitigate solar heat gain and reduce glare in the atrium
L. Interior Acoustical Treatments mitigate background noise commonly caused by mechanical systems
Nashville, Tennessee
30,000 square foot addition
Vanderbilt University
Registered WELL Silver
AIA Middle Tennessee Design Award
Steve Hall + Nick Merrick Photographers