The idea to build a new city hall has been years in the making for Franklin, Tennessee, and now the stage is set for a new building to create a more prominent civic presence in historic downtown.
In early 2020, Franklin hired OHM Advisors and Studio Eight Design to lead the design process for a new city hall. The existing city hall was an adapted building, constructed in 1974 as a one-story mall, with less-than-ideal functionality for city operations. It had few windows, a somewhat featureless exterior, and lacked a connection to its prominent location on the historic public square in downtown Franklin.
After a one-year community engagement and programming process, a vision emerged to keep city hall right where it is in the heart of Franklin with a new, more recognizable design that “completes the square” and complements its historic surroundings. The ensuing master plan called for a state-of-the-art facility, enhanced outdoor public spaces with plazas and a community park, active street frontage, and maximized parking.
Now nearing the completion of the Schematic Design Phase, the Franklin City Hall project includes a three-story, +/- 90,000 sf city hall and underground parking garage for staff and city vehicles, as well as 5,000 sf of street-level commercial space. In keeping with the master plan and the city’s desire for this new building to feel authentic to the surrounding district, the exterior design utilizes materials and traditional architectural elements that fit into the historical context. The building form decreases from three stories to two on the eastern side to reflect the scale of the adjacent neighborhood. On that same side, a new public park will transition seamlessly into the fabric of the downtown.
The project is on target for LEED silver certification and construction completion by 2027.