From the competition entry:
“The Yard” creates spaces for healing, growth, and change by embracing a multifaceted view of health that extends beyond the physical body to the mind, city, and landscape. By combining physical, natural, and programmatic systems, The Yard nurtures the well-being of Nashville. From waterways, forests, and gardens to active sports fields to community-based classes and art, different approaches to health converge in The Yard.
The organizing feature of The Yard is a new waterway for stormwater bounded by a lushly planted floodway. Currently, stormwater outlets periodically discharge into the Cumberland River because outflow pipes cannot handle large volumes of rainwater. The Yard creates an alternative path for the stormwater, one that adapts to changing volumes by controlled flooding and helps alter the runoff, improving water quality. There are two branches to this system: one helps control water sheeting off the stadium’s parking lots;
the other recreates a lost sub-watershed.
Along the floodway, bands of vegetation expand outwards, creating vibrant, dynamic spaces for people and animals to inhabit. Each band—Wetland, Riverside, Mesic Forest, and Meadow—is representative of a native Tennessee landscape type.
The Yard would create two large mounds to cap and contain contaminated earth, adding a functional and significant element of topography to the site. The larger mound serves multiple purposes: visual landmark, scenic overlook towards the river and downtown, as well as stadium for the sports fields. These fields allow for a variety of sports to be programmed at the site while the mound gives spectators an exciting view. The smaller mound, cut by the water, divides The Yard to create space dedicated to healing the mind and the soul. A combination therapeutic and botanical garden offers a quiet respite from the city and the sports.
The Yard reimagines the site’s industrial past by adapting several existing structures for new programs designed to develop skills and provide recreation. Fuel tanks provide adventure recreation opportunities. A former warehouse becomes “Shop Class,” a fabrication co-op open to the Nashville community dedicated to the industrial arts: metal and woodworking, mechanics, robotics, and other forms of creation. These skills are not just practical; they can be a form of artistic expression. Attached to Shop Class is an exposition park, where local artists and students from Shop Class can exhibit their work, showcasing Nashville’s creative spirit. Partnerships with schools and neighborhoods help connect people across the city and region.
In order to deepen the connection between The Yard and the rest of the city, The Yard breaks down the physical boundaries that currently contain this site. New mixed-use development sites along Shelby Avenue takes advantage of this strategic area, drawing people from downtown, from farther in East Nashville, and from the stadium. Green extensions of the park on the far side of the highway link new, denser mixed-income development to The Yard’s amenities and improve the cycling experience along the river.
Healing is a holistic, dynamic process, rather than a simplistic cure. It is what our city needs. The Yard provides a place for this to happen, but it is the community who will shape it.
A short news piece regarding the competitions and winners is available here.