Chattanooga, TN

The East by Main project presented Cogent Studio with a few unique challenges. The 18,000sf lot is located on Main Street in Chattanooga, TN’s bustling South Side neighborhood. With such a small lot and limited street frontage the challenge was to see how many living units could be appropriately placed on the site.  We were able to maximize the potential of the site by utilizing the State Of Tennessee Horizontal Property Regime Act. After working through multiple schemes we acheived a max of 26 units on the site, with the final number of dwelling units coming to 21 to make room for resident parking.

The site plan was designed in such a way to prioritize the pedestrian over the car. It was our goal to create a sense of community through shared common spaces and garden walkways. Our design team looked to many precedents found in Europe and U.S. communities like the French Quarter.

Early Main Street Elevation

Main_Final510 Main

The dwelling types and sizes changed multiple times throughout the design process. The project started out with 6 large town homes facing Main Street with the smaller efficiency units to the back of the site. When it became apparent that the best use of the site was to focus on one unit type, the site plan was reworked to its final layout.

The units themselves are made up of 3 floors. The first includes a living and kitchen. The 2nd includes the bedroom and restroom with large walk-in closet. The third is a bonus room with a roof deck looking over the South Side Neighborhood.

Final Main Street Elevation


510 Main

1st-floor_final2 2nd-floor-final 3rd-floor_final

Cogent knew from the beginning that we wanted to use brick on the town homes in response to the mostly masonry and mercantile type buildings lining Main Street, but we also wanted them to be of their own time.  To accomplish this we explored multiple types , colors, and uses of brick that would set these buildings apart.  Working with local masons we looked at different options for brick screen walls and relief patterns.  While not all the ideas have made it into the project, the process made for a better final product.

East by Main is going to bring a truly unique urban way of life to one of Chattanooga’s most sought after neighborhoods.