The Hills is an adaptive reuse project converting a typical 1980s movie theatre into a growing church with classroom and event spaces. Our team was presented with the challenge of stripping back the movie theater identity while still retaining most of the building's form. The design also required the flexibility to host a work-share space during non-church hours. These goals were accomplished through the creation of bright, open spaces, detailed with moments that spoke to the building's new life such as a backlit stained-glass mural concealing the public restrooms, a garage door in the children's classroom to be opened in pleasant weather, and three brass crosses inlaid in the polished concrete floor, growing more ornate as a visitor proceeds further into the church towards the main sanctuary. The Hills Church is a lively space with personality, flexibility, and unexpected inspiration in every detail.
We are dedicated to making meaningful places that contribute to healthy communities and mindfully engage local resources
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2520 White Avenue
Nashville, TN 37204
Established in 2001, Dryden Architecture and Design, formerly known as DAAD, is a comprehensive architecture and interior design studio located in Nashville, Tennessee. Our work is uniquely rooted in personal history and contemporary practice. The studio was born out of our desire to make meaningful places that contribute to healthy communities and mindfully engage local resources.
Over the last 20 years, we have completed an array of projects across Nashville and beyond, ranging from neighborhood master plans, mixed-use developments, adaptive reuse projects, private residences, boutique hotels, retail, restaurants, and corporate offices.
Working closely with creative partners is an integral part of our process at Dryden. We believe in facilitating strong creative partnerships with the artists and craftspeople with whom we work. With each project, we participate in a careful analysis of the site and intent of our collaborators to create places that are beautiful, functional, and intellectually stimulating.
We do not enter a project with a prescribed design solution. Instead, we work closely with our clients to establish a common design language and bring their creative vision to life.
James, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2004 to focus on context-driven design and community building. He leads projects ranging in scale and scope, from multi-family to private residential, with a thoughtful and lighthearted approach.
Dale, a native Tennessean, joined Dryden in 2014 with ten years of professional experience. He leads complex projects spanning tenant build-outs to large-scale adaptive reuse with a resourceful and creative spirit while mentoring new designers and keeping our tech on point.
Richard joined Dryden in 2022 after working in architecture for seven years in Atlanta, GA. Richard brings to the team a strong background in adaptive reuse projects, detailed design skills, and a grounded demeanor.
Colin joined Dryden in 2019 after working in architecture for eight years in New York. He is a detailed and organized designer with a focus on hospitality and high-end residential design.
Timon joined Dryden in 2018 after working on both coasts. A Yale alum, Timon is a thorough thinker and strong designer whose underlying goals are to enrich the user experience and enhance the public realm.
Chuck, a native Tennessean, joined Dryden in 2019 with ten years of professional experience working in architecture and design in Tennessee. A natural educator, Chuck uses his background as a lecturer at Parsons and UTK’s College of Architecture in the workplace, bringing thoughtfulness and artistry into all that he does.
Nick, a native Tennessean, leads Dryden with integrity and professionalism. For 20 years and counting, he and our team have been creating thoughtful and sensitive designs while building lasting relationships in the community.
Cara, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2019 after managing the boutique architecture firm SO-IL in Brooklyn, NY. With ten years of small business management experience, she operates with an empathetic and detailed approach directing all operations, including business development, human resources, and finances.
Jason, a native Tennessean, joined Dryden in 2021 after working for several years as a design-build architect for a wide range of projects. This unique background allows him to guide clients through the whole process, from site selection to final inspections.
Kim, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2004. She is a nurturing leader with the ability to work with any style or budget. She enjoys working closely with clients to achieve the highest standard of design and craftsmanship, delivering interior spaces that are functional, safe, and beautiful.
Josh joined Dryden in 2017 with an interest in creating a positive impact in the community through design, believing architecture can lead to a more environmentally and socially sustainable world. A Cornell alum, he is a powerhouse designer with strong graphic skills and an interest in beauty that elevates his work.
Maria joined Dryden in 2021 after working in both Minneapolis and Nashville. She is a confident designer whose work is driven by providing opportunities for meaningful exchanges between people and the spaces they inhabit. Maria is highly engaged in the Nashville design community and currently serves as a Programming Advisor for Nashville Design Week.
Ann Kennedy joined Dryden in 2019 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art, Interior Design. She has a keen interest in visual storytelling, revealed through her work on both commercial and residential projects.
Macy, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2019, bringing a collaborative and enthusiastic approach to hospitality design. Her confidence and work ethic provide refreshing energy to her project teams through unexpected and forward-thinking design.
Jonah joined Dryden in 2021 after graduating with his Master’s in Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Jonah is an enthusiastic researcher and designer who believes design is a tool to enhance our humanity, no matter who you are or where you come from.
Sammy joined Dryden in 2020 after working in the hospitality industry. She uses her operations background and industry knowledge to provide invaluable support to our design team through vendor relations, project support, and styling.
Samantha, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2021 after working locally for ten years. An intelligent and capable designer, she works to re-invigorate the Nashville community through mixed-use, commercial, adaptive reuse, and historic renovation projects.
Fleming, a native Nashvillian, joined Dryden in 2015. A focused and detailed leader, he helps us balance achieving excellence in design with technical function.
Tabby joined Dryden in 2022 with a background in project management and a passion for design. Tabby ensures daily operations run smoothly, making sure the team has what it needs to succeed. She also uses her strong organizational skills and industry knowledge to support our design team through purchasing and installations.
Ross joined Dryden in 2021 after working as a designer in both Chicago and Nashville. He has a refined aesthetic and approaches his work with careful consideration. Ross loves developing and maintaining close relationships with clients to help them meet their goals.
We do not have any open positions at this time, but we are always on the lookout for talented, creative people. Please email us at email@example.com to learn about any future opportunities. Dryden encourages BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ candidates to apply.