John Portman & Associates unveils design for 1,000- room convention hotel in Nashville

ATLANTA, GA (June 24, 2009) John Portman & Associates, Inc. (PORTMAN) unveiled preliminary design for a new 40-story hotel in Nashville at a press conference held by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority of Nashville (MDHA) and Phelps Portman Nashville, LLC, a development team comprised of Phelps Development and Portman Holdings. John Portman & Associates will be part of the Phelps Portman Nashville team, serving as the architect.

Advantageously located adjacent to the new Music City Center site and next to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the hotel’s conceptual design features high-quality convention center accommodations with 1,000 hotel rooms. The podium contains multi-function meeting facilities, including a 40,000-sf grand ballroom, a 25,000-sf junior ballroom and meeting rooms.

PORTMAN is well-known for the revitalization of urban centers. Ellis Katz, Executive Vice President and Director of Hospitality for John Portman & Associates noted that the hotel promises a memorable experience unique to Nashville. “A continuous open arcade is envisioned around the entire base of the building. Retail stores, restaurants and commercial activities will activate the street fronts. The open arcades increase the open site area, maximizing opportunities for streetscape and landscape. The façade, which consists of alternating stone and glass panels, articulates the base, breaking down the scale of the facades to develop a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. ,” he said.

Special attention was devoted to the hotel’s entrance and “sense of place.” The through-block nature of the design allows for entrances at the mid-block at both 4th and 5th Avenues. Gordon Beckman, Vice President of Design for PORTMAN describes the proposed effect, “This modern version of the historic 1903 Nashville Arcade places the hotel entries at the closest point to Broadway, the Nashville historic entertainment venues and the vital urban center of Nashville.”

The curved tower is destined to become a marker for the convention center district on the Nashville skyline. The shape responds to the architectural rhythm of the area. Treating the facades of the two building halves in different materials breaks down the scale of the building and responds to the tower’s orientation. The southern side features a denser punch window solution to reduce solar gains to the tower. The northern side, with views to the city and the river, is more open and light. A green roof on the podium adds to the concept’s sustainable approach.

Other members of the Phelps Portman Nashville team include: Hensel Phelps Construction Co. (contractors), Earl Swensson Associates (associate architects), R.C. Mathews Contractor (local contractor) and Morgan & Morgan, Inc. (local DBE contractor), among others.