Nominated by: Smith Gee Studio
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Developer: Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency
Architect: Smith Gee Studio
General Contractor: R. G. Anderson
Photographer: Tom Gatlin Photography
Project Website: Kirkpatrick Park
As the first phase of implementation from the comprehensive Envision Cayce Master Plan, Kirkpatrick Park represents a new model for public housing in Nashville, as well as the rest of the country. Combining low-income, workforce and market-rate units side by side, Kirkpatrick Park is the foundational project for mixed-income development for the Metropolitan Development & Housing Agency (MDHA) on Nashville’s largest subsidized housing property. MDHA focused on three goals to guide Kirkpatrick Park’s development: 1) deconcentrate poverty through a fully integrated and economically self-sustaining mixed-income community; 2) provide a one-for-one replacement of the subsidized housing to be demolished; and 3) honor a commitment to keep existing residents in the community and minimize disruption while creating new housing. Blending into the existing adjacent historic neighborhood character and scale, the Kirkpatrick Park development comprises townhomes, stacked flats and towns over flats. Because of the steep topography over the project site, it was quickly determined that no single prototype design would accommodate the project’s programming, and the antiquated sanitary and storm sewer and water infrastructure needed to be replaced. Instead of the visual redundancy that most public housing sites are known for, Kirkpatrick Park includes 15 distinct two- to three-story residential buildings with 94 units. Taking advantage of the steep grade, some units offer individual garage parking. Kirkpatrick Park offers both traditional and transitional styles along with market-rate finishes and appliances in all of the units, whether they are occupied by a resident paying market rate or one who’s using public subsidies. The development also features a new pedestrian-oriented street, or woonerf, as well as two corner pocket parks, which include seating and a play area designed to favor families — inviting neighbors to gather with safety and dignity.