Rendering to Reality: 1 Hotel Nashville

December 05, 2022

For our collaboration with 1 Hotel Nashville, Workshop/APD and the SH Hotels & Resorts internal design team dug deep into the local landscape for design inspiration. From the shores of the Cumberland River to the century-old tobacco barns on the city’s outskirts, our process and inspiration for the hotel go beyond the typical Music City culture to pull from Nashville’s natural legacy. Through months of thoughtful design, incorporating elements found on research trips, we were able to realize our vision for the city’s first sustainable luxury hotel. Keep reading to see how the renderings turned to reality.

During the research phase of this project, our team traveled through Nashville in pursuit of natural and historical elements that could be incorporated into the hotel’s design. What they found, from the river to hills to farmland, is reflected throughout so many details of 1 Hotel Nashville.

The Inspiration

Inspired by rock formations in central Tennessee, the front desk plays heavily into the area’s connections to the natural landscape. Hanging along the back wall, bundles of tobacco leaves hang as if to dry – a nod to the state’s agrarian legacy. These elements come together to create a sense of arrival, where guests transition from the city to nature.

Front Desk and Lobby

Stepping into the Bamford Wellness Spa, guests transport to a calming environment away from the noise of the Music City. Natural elements like wood serve to unify the spa interiors with the rest of the hotel. Cool stone surfaces were designed to evoke feelings of restfulness and peace, inspired by the mystical and religious associations with Cave Ruby in Southeastern Tennessee.

Bamford Wellness Spa

Harriet’s Bar plays tribute to the slatted wood of the historic tobacco barns surrounding Nashville. Woven ropes above the bar reference the materiality of fishing equipment, like nets, that fishermen would use in Reelfoot Lake.

Harriet's Bar

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to flood the conference rooms, brightening the wood and stone that composes the walls. A raw plank dining table adds a rustic feel to the space.

Conference Rooms

Along the walls of the ballroom, custom wallpaper depicts the forest ecosystem of Natchez Trace, while star-like chandeliers light the room. The path, created by foraging animals, was blazed further by humans for trading, meeting and gathering. In the ballroom, travelers come together from all over to connect and celebrate.


For the guest rooms, warm wood envelops the room in feelings of comfort, nostalgia, home. These accommodations reference Tennessee’s homesteading traditions, but through a contemporary lens.

Guest Rooms