Photo by Chad Mellon

Facility: Lentz Public Health Center

Location: Nashville, Tenn.

Architect: Gresham, Smith and Partners

The new Lentz Public Health Center, developed by HCA Inc. for the Nashville (Tenn.) Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), embodies the MPHD's mission to encourage healthy, active and sustainable living. The 106,000-square-foot replacement facility features a large stairway that encourages staff and visitors to walk versus taking the elevator. Further promoting movement and activity for employees, the designers incorporated an indoor walking loop around the perimeter of the third floor. The walking loop surrounds the work stations and also passes through the open three-story main lobby, allowing patrons and visitors to see MPHD employees ‘walking the talk’ of healthy living.

Meanwhile, Circulate is a dynamic, interactive public art installation in the lobby. Modeled on the concept of small-world networks and the body’s circulation system, the artwork uses LCD smart glass pixels to dramatically illustrate the idea of flow and connection across the large feature wall. The smart glass is activated by a video camera that captures movement on the monumental stair.

Sustainable and smart building design solutions were utilized to achieve LEED Silver certification. Energy modeling was used to determine building massing and orientation as well as to establish a budget for glass and wall performance.