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.
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.