Columniation | Nomad Studio

Winner of the Merit Award in the Concept – Design category of the 2020 WLA Awards

COLUMNIATION is one of the three Finalist Entries for the RFP – First Street Steps at Chattanooga,TN (USA). It is a sculptural space, a sloping threshold of blue spires that highlights the presence of the void.

COLUMNIATION design strategy presents a framework for an iconic landscape that enhances the urban environment, but furthermore it transforms the intersection into a space for dialogue and reflection, a space to inspire and be inspired: an immersive space that has been modeled rooted within the unique landscapes of Chattanooga and its region, our reflections about its character as an intersection, and its history and relevance within our present time. COLUMNIATION is part of a larger picture, a site deeply connected with its landscape.

First and Market Street is an intersection within a major intersection, a condensed reality of one of the most defining aspects of Chattanooga’s identity.We are at a global historic intersection where socioeconomic inequality, racism, xenophobia, and environmental injustice are denigrating the common spaces for understanding built after WWII.We keep creating invisible and visible lines that separate us, that lock us in, that divide us and define us. COLUMNIATION is an arena for understanding, and insightful understanding starts with the acknowledgment of uncomfortable voids.

COLUMNIATION presents itself as a transformational juncture: an immersive experience articulated by the materialization of the void. A monumental colonnade awaiting and anticipating new interaction and dialogue that gives voice to the highly expressive intangible space screaming to be seen.

This background articulates the strategy for First and Market Street, a strategy where urban design and art coalesce to create an immersive sculptural space that transforms not only the site but its context.The leading actions of the design strategy are:

  • To incorporate a third dimension to the intersection: meaning.
  • To transform the intersection into an immersive experience: sculptural space.
  • To highlight the intersection between the individual and the collective.
  • To add an additional layer to Public Art: co-creation. Public art at city scale brings the opportunity of transforming the public from observers or players, to co-creators: it takes a community to create an icon.

Columniation – Sculptural Space

Location: Chattanooga,TN – First and Market Street, Chattanooga,TN 3

Landscape Architect: Nomad Studio
Consultants Team: LIA Engineering, Structural Engineering. UAP Company, Art Fabricator.

River City Company
Public Art Chattanooga
City Of Chattanooga
Chattanooga Design Studio Lyndhurst Foundation Benwood Foundation

Images Credits: All images ©NomadStudio

About Damian Holmes 3228 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at