Shannon Pollard is committed to creating an environmentally sensitive community on the Nashville property his grandfather, Grand Ole Opry star and Country Music Hall of Fame member Eddy Arnold, called home.
That’s why one day he found himself supervising the release of 6,000 minnows. The tiny fish will eat algae choking the ponds where his grandfather enjoyed watching deer getting a drink of water and make the ponds a centerpiece of Voce, the neighborhood taking shape on the 61-acre property on Granny White Pike.
“The deer still come up there, and other wildlife still uses those (ponds) as a water source. It’s a nice space for a community meeting or a wedding,” said Pollard.
He recently made additional building lots available at Voce, which will have a total of 52 homes surrounded by stands of trees and natural spaces that Pollard is committed to preserving in accordance with his grandfather’s wishes. Arnold lived on the property until his death in 2008 and often rehearsed there.
Architects and builders are encouraged to create designs that would never be found in a traditional neighborhood, like the home Chuck and Mary Mount are having built with metal exterior walls and a black façade.
“We sat down with Fleming Smith and Nick Dryden at DAAD (architectural firm) and came up with our dream home. Fleming came up with a design that is clean and modern but cozy, not sterile. It integrates into our unique lot and is built into the hillside. The back is mostly glass to allow us to enjoy the beautiful wooded setting,” the couple said in an email.
They are moving from Franklin and were attracted by Voce’s location between Williamson County and downtown Nashville. But it was Pollard’s vision that sold them on the neighborhood. To protect the trees, an arborist reviews plans for each house. To shield nearby Dyer Observatory from light pollution, Voce practices “dark sky lighting.” All outdoor lights shine downward.
The Mounts said they were attracted by Voce’s “serenity and natural beauty in such a convenient location. What clinched the final decision was meeting with Shannon Pollard. His love of the property and his plan to develop the land while keeping it as unspoiled as possible resonated with us.”
Forte Building Group, the Mounts’ builder, expects to build six or more houses in Voce. This is the first time the company has used metal construction on a home, which is more common in commercial construction.
“These homes don’t always fit in in a traditional neighborhood. The goal is to integrate homes into the natural environment,” said Will Forte, owner of Forte Building Group.
DAAD designed the Mounts’ home as well as the community center that will be part of Voce’s new phase. It incorporates a large event space, kitchen, fireplace, large outdoor terrace, community garden, natural playground and lawn for events. It is designed to naturally emerge from the landscape, said Dryden, DAAD’s principal.
He described the center as place for residents to “host parties, events, dinners, songwriting around a fire.”
Castle Homes, one of more than a half-dozen builders in Voce, is already designing homes for the community’s next phase. The company has designed and built five custom homes and currently has three under construction for clients attracted by Voce’s vision.
“Voce is a non-traditional neighborhood with non-traditional homes that retains the natural beauty of the land and promoting connectivity to the outdoors,” says Castle Homes President Alan Looney. “It’s a community that’s inspired by nature with homes built within the naturally wooded home sites.”
Several new home sites are on the ridge overlooking the property. A road is being built along the route of the original cow path.
“On days with good visibility, you can see downtown Nashville from up there,” said Pollard.