History and Approach

Formed in 2002, Sanders Pace Architecture combines the design talents of John Sanders and Brandon Pace to provide full service architecture, planning, and design services to clients seeking a thoughtful, progressive solution to their goals and needs. The collaboration of John Sanders and Brandon Pace extends back to 1992, when both were enrolled at the University of Tennessee. After studying together in Europe in 1996, both received Bachelor of Architecture degrees with Honors from the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. Sanders’ subsequent work in Knoxville and Pace’s work in Nashville and New York City was well received as both have been honored on the local, regional, and national levels on projects ranging from furniture and product design and fabrication to designs for prototypical affordable housing and multi-million dollar medical and office space. In 2003, Pace began graduate studies at the Yale University School of Architecture, where he was twice nominated for the schools highest design honor, the H. I. Feldman Prize for Design Excellence, and was the recipient of the Robert Allen Ward Scholarship Award. In 2005 he received his Master of Architecture degree from the University.

In addition to private practice, both John Sanders and Brandon Pace have made a commitment to teaching architecture. Both Sanders and Pace have been Adjunct Faculty at the University of Tennessee. In addition, Pace was a Teaching Fellow at Yale University and has been an invited critic at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pratt Institute, and the California College of Arts.

Tennessee serves as the backdrop for the majority of the firm’s work. It provides a beautiful setting within which to practice, from the Mississippi River basin at the western edge of the state through the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee the landscape is impressive. Moving east through the state the Cumberland Plateau gives way to the highest mountains of the Appalachian Chain at the North Carolina border. The state is one of the longest, stretching just over 500 miles from tip to tip. From dense urban settings to suburban landscapes to pastoral countryside, the state has a wide variety of contexts. This level of diversity requires a high degree of dexterity amongst architects, designers who possess the ability to easily work across this wide range of project type and place. In order to be competitive and have success in a market such as this a practice must also be nimble, possessing the flexibility to efficiently tackle projects with a wide range of scale and complexity.

The firm believes fundamentally that every project is different and deserving of a unique and specific design response. We take pride in the success we have had on a wide range of project types, from urban historic restorations and suburban interventions to contemporary rural retreats. While each project is different we approach the design process in a similar way. We first analyze the project in order to firmly establish the constants while identifying the variables including but not limited to site, budget, and program. Information gained from this process allows us to develop multiple ideas simultaneously in two and three dimensions as we work towards an appropriate design response. Once a design direction is determined we then test interior and exterior materials and assemblies at full scale considering both performance and desired effect. Finally we remain intimately involved throughout the life of the project, including a regular on site presence and communication with the contractor as they build.