Amp station design shows arch-inspired touch

Architect explains goals, adaptability of key BRT element

The Amp Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) reviewed today a subtle gothic arch-inspired design Metro could use for the stations to be located along the proposed Amp bus rapid transit route.

Tuck-Hinton Architects has designed stations that would allow for individual customization to provide context for each respective stop and neighborhood and/or district along the 7.1-mile route.

Seab Tuck, Tuck-Hinton principal, said a key effort with the station design was to “balance the desires of the neighborhoods with the branding of the stations.”

Speaking before a modest audience of about 25 attendees who gathered at the Main Library for the CAC meeting, Tuck said the Nashville-based architecture firm incorporated five goals for station design: 1. Safety and visibility; 2. ease of use; 3. ease of maintenance; 4. iconic branding; and 5. constructability.

Tuck showed images of various historic local buildings that incorporate pointed arches (such as lancet arches and equilateral pointed arches). Combined with Nashville’s music history (and how music creats a movement and rhythm), the two elements lend themselves to several ideas related to imagery, he said.

“That gave us this inspiration,” he said of the concept of stations subtly showing the arch as used in gothic and traditional architecture.

Tuck stressed the stations could offer adaptable elements related to naming, public art, glass etchings, signage and handrails.There could be “an opportunity to alter” stations based on their locations, he added.

The CAC, which meets monthly and is led by commercial real estate industry veteran Bert Mathews of The Mathews Co., is the ad hoc body appointed by Mayor Karl Dean and including public- and private-sector stakeholders in the areas along the proposed Amp route.

If built, The Amp (formally known as the East-West Connector) would link Five Points in East Nashville to White Bridge Road and Saint Thomas West Hospital on the city’s west side via Broadway/West End Avenue/Harding Road. Dean, the BRT line’s main proponent, contends The Amp will both offer a quality mass transit option to private vehicle use (thus minimizing future traffic woes) and will spur infill development along much of its route.

The future of The Amp is uncertain, as various state officials, Midtown business owners and West Nashville residents oppose it.

Legislation both the Tennessee House and Senate approved in April gives the General Assembly the power to approve or reject any state roadway project using dedicated lanes.

If such a project is to receive state funding, the legislature then would sign off on it by approving the state budget. If state funds are to not be used for a project, that project still must get the legislature's approval through passage of a joint resolution.

The bill also requires that any such project be put in the Tennessee Department of Transportation's three-year plan, or that both speakers, as well as the chairmen of both transportation and finance committees, be given notice of the project.

Metro officials estimate the cost of The Amp at about $174 million — a price that could be shared between federal, state and local governments. As much as $75 million may come from the federal government’s Small Starts program, which is administered by the Federal Transit Administration.

The Dean administration and Metro Transit Authority officials have been communicating with the FTA regarding the city’s application for the funding, with the process now underway. 


(Images courtesy of Tuck-Hinton Architects)

(An Amp station near Centennial Park)



(An Amp station near MBA)