Ballpark Receives Orchid Recognition in Architecture

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Original Article Posted Here


In 1981, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects staged an awards program. It lasted one year. It was called “Orchids and Onions.”

“Orchids” recognized designers and developers who were doing the right thing; “Onions” chastised those who weren’t.

Fast-forward to 2017. Nashville’s main architectural curse is mediocre — OK, lousy — new construction. The most obvious perps are developers, frequently out-of-towners, armed with cookie-cutter plans from design firms specializing in the architecture of Anywhere, USA. 

Such new developments will scar our city for decades. But good buildings are happening. To encourage a more balanced perspective, the Scene put together a “committee of insiders” to develop a list of recent “Orchids” and “Onions.”

No, it isn’t as architecturally ambitious as many stadiums that have sprouted around the world in the 21st century (see: Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest”), but it’s a welcome new Nashville resident, nevertheless. The committee praised the recessed playing field visible from the street, which holds down the height of the profile. Kudos also for the ballpark’s “accessibility and clear orientation for patrons” and the “outfield terraces for hanging out that expand the ballpark’s constituencies.” The location in Sulphur Dell, while historically appropriate, also serves as a catalyst for bridging Germantown and downtown.