view of downtown nashville + cumberland river, photographed from slaughterhouse roof

view of existing north site conditions + cumberland river + water tower, photographed from slaughterhouse roof

Neuhoff Axis

1312 Adams St. Nashville, TN 37208

Nashville Urban Design Program

Summer 2016 | Professor T.K. Davis

Collaborators: Amy St. John, Johanna Coetzee, MaryKate Leitch


The objective of the Nashville Urban Design program was to revisit the Neuhoff slaughterhouse site in East Germantown just north of downtown Nashville. The neighborhood is teeming with new development, and in close proximity to the new ballpark, the Cumberland River, and it’s adjacent west bank greenway. Myself, along with two other team members, sought to transform the Neuhoff complex and the site directly to it’s north into an open and welcoming locus for creative practices.

The Neuhoff meat-packing plant witnessed the slaughter of 14,000 animals a week before its closure in 1977. The 700,000 square-foot complex dates back to 1906, and creates a very special architectural uniqueness in the East Germantown neighborhood.

As it was once a unique working community integral to the identity of Germantown, the reclamation, reconnection and re-activation of this post-industrial campus will be the key development strategy in the future. Nashville’s culture has been deeply rooted in art and music for decades. Forming a new art identity for future Nuehoff will be an appropriate method to connect Neuhoff back to the Germantown neighborhood and downtown Nashville art atmosphere in 21st century.
Due to Neuhoff’s strategic location next to the Cumberland River with a panoramic view of downtown Nashville to the south, Neuhoff site shows its great potential for contemporary landscape architectural practice. The potential not only for reclaiming the post-industrial site, but also revitalizing an established community with a new artistic identity through creative design of better use of the space in both buildings and landscape.


site section through the main axis

Aerial image of Nashville | Neuhoff Site highlighted


For the purposes of our Nashville Urban Design Studio, the Neuhoff site was broken down into three components:

-The existing slaughterhouse structure
-Tthe existing holding pen structure
-The north section of the site, open for new construction

I worked with two other teammates on the design and adaptation of the Neuhoff complex. We each focused on one of the three components, while still maintaining coordination and communication on all parts of the site as a whole.

Our project, titled The Neuhoff Axis, sought to transform the site into a space that was focused on community and the arts, while maintaining strong connections to the landscape which surrounds the complex, the river, and to the city beyond.

My partner, Johanna Coetzee, designed and adapted the slaughterhouse to accommodate large-scale experiential art exhibits, and to serve as a headquarters for the blossoming fashion industry in Nashville. Our other team member, MaryKate Leitch, designed and adapted the holding pen structure as a space for music culture, complete with recording studios and a rooftop performance space. I focused on the undeveloped north part of the site, designed to serve as a live/work community for artisans.

Holistically, all of the components of the site are connected by a central axis that terminates on a terrace looking out over the river.

The north part of the site is the only area of new construction in the Neuhoff Axis plan. This building was key in creating and framing a break in the axis. The form was chosen to converse with the slaughterhouse via the continuation of the existing curved brick path. The courtyard was derived from the desire to preserve the water tower and use it as a focal point.

The program is based on cultivating a community that shares resources and ideas. I envision the ground floor to be used for maker-spaces, while the upper floors primarily serve as live/work spaces. The inclusion of roof gardens, combined with existing views of the river and downtown Nashville, will allow the roof level to serve as a place of gathering and community.

The neighboring parking lot doubles as a community orchard. One can move from the parking lot into the restaurant/brewery, which then spills into outdoor dining space, a pavilion area, and gardens. One can then travel to the existing brick pathway, and onto the main axis which terminates at the riverfront terrace. The inclusion of a variety of outdoor gathering spaces was key to the design of the Neuhoff Axis.


sketch elevation of the brewery/restaurant as a community amenity


elevation of north site live/work building

perspective of the north site courtyard


perspective of the north site courtyard


Gallery of Images