2019Born in a Barn

Music City Roots

Born in a Barn

Music City Roots
Madison, TN
Completed in: In Progress
Client: Music City Roots


The Roots Barn will be the new home of Music City Roots, Nashville’s acclaimed roots and Americana variety show and broadcasted on site – Roots Radio on WMOT 89.5FM. This intimate music venue will host shows up to 750-1,200 capacity. In addition to Roots events, this project will host a variety of stand-alone concerts as well as private shows and events.

A heavy timber-framed structure sets the stage for this music sanctuary. The Music City Roots theme song is titled “Born in a Barn”, and as such, the team wished to recreate and enhance the special intimacy of their early days when airing live from a local barn. The barn will be clad in reclaimed timber siding and each gable end wall is constructed of stone with aesthetics reminiscent of historic stone structures found in the surrounding areas. Custom stained glass windows give a nod to the historic Ryman Auditorium.

The program centers around a two-story performance hall which is flanked by outdoor gathering space to its north and prefunction on its eastern side. A processional entry sequence leads you from the ticket windows through prefunction amenities and into the performance hall. Connected via a long, covered porch is a separate green room building which also houses radio broadcast support. Additionally, an existing building located on site will house space for Roots Radio as well as a gift shop and catering kitchen.

The portico that traces the edge of the buildings opens out onto an exterior courtyard where guests can arrive early and enjoy a meal and entertainment prior to shows. Nestled into a park-like setting, the outdoor gathering space connects visually to neighboring Amqui Station. Once a functional train depot saved from demolition by Johnny Cash, it now serves as the Visitor and Welcome Center for Madison as well as stand-alone museum. The relaxed, campus-like feel creates a rural vibe that’s just minutes from the urban downtown Nashville area. The culmination is an overall experience that reinforces intimacy and evokes that familial feeling that when you’re here, you’re home.