2016Planning Peabody’s 2nd Century

Peabody Masterplan

Planning Peabody’s 2nd Century

Peabody Masterplan
Nashville, TN
Completed in: 2017
Client: Vanderbilt University


Centric was privileged to team with education planner Rickes Associates, and architects SGA from Boston, to conduct an analysis of Peabody College’s current and future space use needs. This exercise involved 4 months of interviews, dialogue, and analysis and yielded a complete documentation of both current function and future possibilities and goals.

In addition to evaluating the space inside the buildings, we studied the site and the flow of people within and across the campus to produce, in close conjunction with the university, a plan that is more pedestrian and bicycle-centric and which will yield a denser, more attractive, and more efficient campus environment for the future.

After studying and refining the campus-wide flows, we took the space use needs document and  

evaluated how it would fit in four of the primary academic buildings of Peabody’s campus. The recommendations re-arrange departments to consolidate them each in their own building (where they used to be spread out across space as it had become available in bits over time) as well as creating a shared classroom building to allow the collaborative Peabody experience to meet its potential. Previously, classrooms had been spread across many buildings, associated with each department, minimizing scheduling resiliency and negating opportunities for students and faculty on different tracks to run into each and learn from each other.  

When the new masterplan is fully realized,

  • Parked cars will no longer be at the center of the Peabody esplanade
  • The pedestrian experience from the Commons to Kirkland will be through a broad, treed landscape – wide enough to safely support both bicyclists and pedestrians – while still keeping the campus walk separate from the cars and asphalt of the city’s roads
  • What were historically two separate colleges (Vanderbilt and Peabody) will feel, and be experienced, more as one integrated arboretum of a larger campus – designed around the occupants during their day rather than around cars
  • The faculty and students will have spaces that are part of, and central to, Peabody College for socializing, sharing, collaboration, and community-building.
  • And, there will be new active learning classroom spaces that allow the University’s top-ranked education programs to teach in and demonstrate the best methods for teaching and learning in spaces specifically designed for the 21st century’s most current understanding of how people learn.