Profile: Design Directors
This is part of our blog series in which we’re highlighting our team at Southeast Venture, including information about their backgrounds, work and perspectives on real estate trends and all things Nashville. Southeast Venture’s design team excels in architecture, interior design and master planning services. Working with their colleagues in Southeast Venture brokerage and development and with clients, our design professionals provide integrated services that offer innovative and effective solutions.
With the company since 2014, Beau Brady, Nathan Narwold, Samantha O’Leary and Iain Shriver have been leaders in project design for Southeast Venture’s clients. As directors of the design team along with interior designer Ginny Caldwell, the group tackles project management and site planning for projects, including multi-family, office, hospitality, mixed-use, urban infill and education. Take a few moments to get to know them.
What trends are you seeing in commercial design?
Beau Brady: A shift to more dynamic work areas. Creative offices like WeWork are at the forefront of this movement, providing open and social spaces that offer more collaboration and a fun work environment.
Nathan Narwold: Globally, 3D-printed building components seem to be gaining some real traction, and it will be interesting to see if any of this technology touches our market directly. Locally, I am seeing some modular/panelized examples starting to come to the forefront. This approach makes a lot of sense as owners, contractors and designers look to find ways to offset the lengthy front-end permitting process and find some back-end efficiencies during construction.
Samantha O’Leary: For multi-family projects, we are seeing a greater focus on the amenities. It seems tenants now expect to have a dog park and pet spa, a fitness and yoga room, a sky lounge, a salt water pool, etc. We are always looking for opportunities to improve the amenity package.
Iain Shriver: I am seeing architecture trending towards smaller and more multi-use spaces and buildings. As sites get tighter and more expensive we are having to look for ways to fit more stuff into less space (and sometimes with less budget). This means we are designing mixed use buildings in places that used to be solely residential, office or even industrial (like apartments in Cool Springs or coffee shops along Sidco Drive). And the spaces inside the buildings are having to serve multiple functions more often. The amenity spaces in our multifamily buildings are becoming an overlap of uses, with the leasing office and club room being in the same room along with mail boxes and elevator lobbies.
What was your favorite project/development from 2018?
Brady: Flyway. Seeing a rundown warehouse transform into an iconic co-working space in the heart of The Nations is one of the most exciting projects Southeast Venture has been a part of to date.
Narwold: Looking back, I think I am most proud of the collaborative efforts of many in planning new offices for Southeast Venture. I’m excited for the re-branding opportunity it will provide the company and the “jolt” of energy I think we will all receive once we are in the new space.
O’Leary: Progress at Silo Bend, a large-scale, mixed-use development in The Nations, and the mural we commissioned to be painted on the 200-foot-tall silo has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in The Nations.
Shriver: My favorite event from 2018 was the completion of Eastside Heights. As the first building I had designed from the ground up, it is exciting to see the finished product after four years of design and construction. I owe a lot to the team that worked on the project, as well as the owners for giving us the opportunity for some outside-the-box design. The project was a great learning opportunity, both in terms of seeing firsthand how our designs and details would be built (and how they could be improved), and also in giving us an opportunity to experiment with design ideas and practices.
What project/development are you most looking forward to in 2019?
Brady: Sixth South. After being on hold for more than two years, we may finally get to see our tallest residential high-rise project take shape in SoBro.
Narwold: We are eager to continue our work on a hotel concept in the Downtown Core entailing the vertical expansion of an existing early 1950’s structure. It looks to be a challenging project for all due to a number of factors, but the project is in a prime location of Nashville for what has become “boutique row” for a host of similar hotel concepts.
O’Leary: Belcourt Village. This mixed-use urban infill project will provide more office, retail/restaurant and residential units and parking to the Hillsboro Village neighborhood.
Shriver: Looking into 2019, I am excited about our continued role in reducing Nashville’s need for affordable housing and workforce housing. I am a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Nashville’s Housing Action Council, where we bring together members from private and non-profit developers, designers and city officials to discuss the availability of affordable housing in Nashville and what policies or practices might allow us to deal with this issue. Some of our clients are working to find more opportunities to provide that more affordable housing, and we are excited to design homes that provide a safe and affordable place to live.
What’s your favorite thing about Nashville?
Brady: The culture. As a resident of East Nashville, it is easy to fall in love with the diverse neighborhoods that makes up this great city. From long-time small business owners to up-and-coming musical artists trying to make a living to all the Honky Tonk tourists, Nashville is a melting pot of new people and new experiences each and every day.
Narwold: Nashville has always been “a little bit country, and a little bit rock ‘n roll,” with a balance between the conservative and progressive mindset. I think this is something that sets us apart from many other regional markets, and this is what attracts so many people that either come to visit or re-locate here. I think I appreciate
that uniqueness most, and hope it is a value that we retain as we grow.
O’Leary: The energy and growth.
Shriver: My favorite thing about Nashville is easily the restaurant scene. We are surrounded with world-class restaurants and bars that keep raising the standard of excellence.