Virgin Hotels Nashville | AIA Atlanta
Honor Award

Virgin Hotels Nashville

  • Year: 2023
  • Entry Categories: Hotel – Guest Rooms 101+

Virgin Hotels Nashville

The Virgin Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee is situated on the edge of Nashville’s famed Music Row and is positioned between Vanderbilt, the rapidly transforming Midtown neighborhood, and the burgeoning Gulch district. Designed in partnership with Hastings Architecture, our charge was to create a lifestyle hotel that conveyed the character of Nashville to its out-of-town guests, while also creating a living room style destination for local Nashvillians.

Albeit on the edge of a famous district, the site lacked substantial foot traffic to support our diverse program. We saw this as a challenge to draw in Nashville’s downtown hustle via an architectural solution. That solution laid in activating the entire length of building frontage with a series of different indoor/outdoor experiences. The hotel borders two public streets, Division Street and Music Square West. The visual prominence of this intersection was ample reason to extend the Commons Club outdoors, further activating the street. This exterior extension features lush plantings which create intimate seating groups along the perimeter while a large, communal tree table occupies the center the space. The outdoor space is connected to the interior through an oversized guillotine door that allows for a double sided, indoor/outdoor bar. Moving south on Music Square West, exterior café seating, the main hotel lobby, porte cochere, and large covered canopy for rooftop elevator queueing and inclement weather valet service further enlivens Music Square West. From the Commons Club terrace heading west down Division Street, an elevated dining terrace provides a perched spot for people watching on the street below. The Gathering Level above hosts an outdoor terrace running the length of the Meeting Room, while the Ballroom opens onto a large rooftop event lawn.

The hotel sits atop a topographic highpoint, with the upper levels of the hotel having commanding views in all directions. The rooftop experience is defined by a rooftop bar, infinity edge pool, and lower roof terrace. The rooftop bar is narrow and features floor to ceiling glass with dichotomic views of rolling green hills beyond historic Vanderbilt to the West and the ever-changing dramatic downtown skyline to the East. The lower roof terrace reorients the view corridor and connects guests with an unobstructed view down Demonbreun Street to downtown.

The exterior façade is inspired from the sentiments prevalent throughout early 20th century urban utilitarian structures , in particular large masonry publishing houses found throughout historic Nashville. The modern interpretation is expressed through an ordered façade of manganese iron-spot Norman brick and warehouse style, large-scale windows. Working off the light drawn through the large, scale windows, the interior volumes are as equally expressive as the exterior and create a blurred threshold between the two. By pulling the iron spot brick and blackened steel of the exterior aesthetic into the building, the design weaves the vibrancy of the street and the warm, interior experiences together into a cohesive and immersive guest experience.

  • FirmBLUR Workshop
  • Project LocationNashville, Tennessee
  • Completion DateJuly 1, 2020
  • OwnerVirgin Hotels & Buccinni Polin Group
  • Architects and Designers Scott Sickeler, AIA
    Allison Isaacs, AIA
    Irene Chang
    David Moore
    David Powell, FAIA
    Blaine Kimbrough, AIA
    Matt Spaulding
    Ethan Keller
  • Civil EngineerBarge Cauthen
  • MEP EngineerBlum Engineering
  • Structural EngineerEMC Structural Engineers
  • Landscape ArchitectHodgson Douglas
  • General ContractorYates
  • Additional ConsultantsHastings Architecture (Architectural Design Partner)
    Mark Zeff (Interior Design Concept)
    BOLD Lighting Design
  • PhotographyJustin Cordova
    Eric Laignel Photography