When the governor's mansion in Nashville, Tennessee, needed an expansion to host events on the grounds, archimania opted for a contemporary subterranean addition. Specifically chosen for their expertise with sustainable design, the Memphis-based firm conceived this technique to save space on the sprawling grounds, while also preserving the existing historic architecture. Flip through the gallery for a look at this unique 15,000-square-foot meeting and dining facility and hit the jump for more details.
Placed 25 feet below the front lawn, the oval-shaped courtyard is fully glazed. This allows natural light to penetrate the interior. And with plenty of plants and trees planted inside, Conservation Hall is slightly reminiscent of the Phipps Observatory in Pittsburgh–like a sunken greenhouse.
In addition to meeting and dining facilities that can accommodate as many as 300 guests, Conservation Hall includes an entry mezzanine, food service components and restrooms. According to the designers, the project has achieved LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. At the time of construction, this project was considered controversial, but a couple of years down the road, no one can argue that the addition has been achieved without detriment to the governor’s mansion.