Croft Design Center Middle Prep
MNPS  |  Nashville, Tennessee

Project Facts

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Size: 110,330 SF
Market: Education
Completed: 2003
Services: Architecture, Interiors
Scope: New Middle School

Recognized as the top middle school in the 2003 Award for Excellence in Architectural Design program, sponsored by the Tennessee School Boards Association. This new educational facility has a cooperative relationship with the adjoining Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, incorporating zoo animals in all disciplines of the curriculum. Demonstration centers in the complex are available for use by other schools within the Metro School system, as well as community groups.

Various elements reinforce the global environmental awareness focus. The main lobby features a large statuary globe, live plants (representing two ecosystems), and an illuminated photowall. Each academic corridor follows a continental theme, emphasized by colors and patterns native to each continent. A country is selected to represent each continent — and these flags adorn the main entrance. The interior is filled with daylight, and a demonstration area provides the opportunity to welcome zoo animals and children to coexist in a safe environment.

Volumetric stacking, takes advantage of the sloped site. Large banks of windows flood interior stairways with natural sunlight and floor-to-ceiling window walls brighten the dining hall. The facility is situated to maximize native plantings and trees for conservancy purposes.

Each academic corridor supports a unique global concept that translated to the wayfinding design strategy. Graphic depictions of animal, playful use of colors representing countries, and hand-painted murals bolster the connection with the zoo, the students, and their parents.

Consultant Team

Barge Cauthen and Assoc. – Civil

I.C. Thomasson, Inc. – MPE Engineers

Stanley D. Lindsey and Assoc., Inc – Structural Engineer

RPM Group – Traffic

Danley Designs – Food Service

Contributions to Project's Success

Top Middle School ‘Award for Excellence: Architectural Design’ by the Tennessee School Boards Association.

Design supported educational programs for global awareness.

Situated to maximize natural plantings and foliage for conservancy purposes.

Use of color and graphics for wayfinding.

Incorporated zoo features into the learning environment.

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