2010Cathedral to Water Production

Omohundro Water Treatment Plant – Filter Building

Cathedral to Water Production

Omohundro Water Treatment Plant – Filter Building
Nashville, TN
Completed in: 2010
Client: Metro Water Services


You’ve never seen a public utility building quite like this. The Omohundro Water Treatment Plant is unexpected and magnificent. Our first project there (2006), the Filter Building, was built in 1929, it features a basilica–inspired floor plan with brick arches, steel industrial windows, a high clerestory hallway, stained-wood-plank ceilings, and green-and-white checkerboard terrazzo flooring. Restoring the aging exterior and interior required difficult design challenges to preserve its depression-era industrial aesthetic. Because of this restoration and the facility’s location, it was the only water treatment plant to survive the 2010 floods in Nashville. During that time it continued to produce water—a precious resource that brought life to our struggling community. Awe inspiring, it’s hard to believe any other industrial building would ever be built today like the Filter Building.

“It really wouldn’t be a stretch to describe the Filter Building as a cathedral to the production of a vital community resource. The light streaming through its windows is a mesmerizing and unexpected surprise. The quality of light and peacefulness in the main corridor reminds me greatly of the new chapel at the St. Cecilia Motherhouse and Convent. It really is a very special place.” — Jim Thompson, Project Manager 


Awards:  The Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County 2010 Preservation Award  and 2010 AIA Middle Tennessee Honor Design Award

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.