West Jackson Workshops

The design objective for the project team was to introduce three open work environments into an existing historic structure that would attract the creative class and help to extend the boundaries of an adjacent arts district into this neglected area of downtown.

The existing shell of the dilapidated building has long been an eyesore, having sat vacant with no roof for 30+ years. The existing masonry walls, steel windows and steel trusses were cleaned and repaired to maintain the existing character of the building while the building footprint was divided equally into three tenant spaces with a shared service core, creating a home for the new creative groups located within. The central tenant space includes loft level studio zone overlooking an entry gallery below.  The adjacent tenant spaces have an open footprint allowing for full use of the nearly 20’x60’ double height interior.

Structural insulated roofing panels were chosen to minimize the construction schedule, limit trades and raw materials and to help create a thermally efficient building envelope.   Additionally, the existing steel windows were fitted with new insulated glazing units to further improve the building’s thermal performance.  An exterior entry court and rear shared courtyard were also created within the existing footprint to create collaborative gathering areas for all the tenants to use. Expansive use of insulated storefront and skylights were introduced to maximize daylight  and limit artificial lighting requirements within the space.


John Sanders and Brandon Pace


4,025 Square Feet Conditioned, 987 Square Feet Exterior

Completion Date:

Summer 2010

Project Team:

John L. Sanders AIA LEED AP
Brandon F. Pace, AIA LEED AP
Michael Aktalay, LEED AP

Photo Credits:

Jeffrey Jacobs Photography (All diagrams courtesy of Sanders Pace Architecture)


AIA Tennessee Award of Merit [2011]
AIA East Tennessee Award of Merit [2011]
AIA Gulf States Honor Citation [2013]
Keep Knoxville Beautiful “Orchid” Award [2011]
Knox Heritage Preservation “Fantastic 15” Award [2010]