UBS Tower Nashville

Overlooking the public Square Nashville and further Cumberland River, this tower is an example of the principle “Form follows Function” coined by Louis Sullivan. It owns the simple architectural expression to one of the later schools of architectural modern, the International Style.

The architecture of the building, although having a certain dose of ascetic aesthetics is utilitarian.

It benefits of the beauty of structural components and materials as they are. The massive, exposed cantilevers bearing the upper floors of the lower annex offer shade to the large metal casement windows. Just above the parapet of the first floor, the stream of short ribbon windows breaks the concrete mass, to be countered with a sequence of vertical concrete fins shading another row of windows.

The office tower is less playful than the annex. The precise fenestration is only broken by the two series of vertical divisions, both probably hiding the utility floors and the flank concrete masses probably having the anti-seismic purpose.

This kind of colorless, naturalistic approach invites the observer to appreciate the rough elegance of materials and structures as they are “masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light”, becoming architecture.

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