The Nashville Baha'i Center is sited on the banks of the Whittemore Branch at the toe of a steep wooded site. The center will provide a home for the activities of a vibrant Baha'i community. Set into the slope, the lowest level includes classrooms and youth activity spaces. The second floor accommodates the main lobby, the meeting hall, a large dining room, as well as more classrooms, administrative spaces, and a bookstore. The curved facades on the north and west echo the circular worship space.
The uphill entry on the south side provides direct access to the second floor lobby from the parking area. The Meeting Hall is derived from "circling the square," a concept whose history extends back to the Renaissance and beyond. Shallow bays extend the cubic space on all four sides, defining the circular volume within.
Strong social ties and consultation are key components of the Baha'i culture. The lobby is the primary social space and connects all spaces within the Center, allowing it to feel open and encourage fellowship. The unusual circular seating plan in the Meeting Hall allows for group discussions where people can see one another. A modest stage provides for readings, choral and theatrical performances and AV presentations.
The Center will be built in Phases to accommodate and expand with the needs of the community.