Message from the President
A Time to Reflect
Wow - 2017 has gone by fast! In a few short weeks we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing in a New Year. This time of year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the time spent serving and advocating for our profession.
As we look back collectively, I trust this year has been rewarding for our membership both personally and professionally. Your chapter board, its committees and volunteers have spent the year working toward building an ever-more relevant chapter.
If you missed us in Hot Springs for the 2017 AIA Arkansas State Convention, we had another successful convention. I would like to give a special thanks to Kyle Cook and his committee. They worked tirelessly to develop and produce a convention we should all be proud of. A convention full of nationally recognized speakers, an Allied member expo and numerous social events.
Congratulations to our Design Award winners and newly licensed architects. In addition, congratulations to Tim (Macho Man) Maddox, AIA on receiving the Dick Savage Award, to Heather Davis, AIA for receiving the Emerging Professional Award and to Marlon Blackwell, FAIA for receiving our most prestigious Fay Jones Gold Medal - well-deserved recognition for Tim, Heather and Marlon.
As I reflect back on this year, it has truly been an honor to serve as this year's chapter president. I was humbled in taking on a role that so many before me had capably blazed a path of success and developed AIA Arkansas into this tremendous organization. I have confidence in the incoming 2018 President Randy Palculict, AIA, alongside Lori Santa-Rita, AIA, Kyle Cook, AIA and Jonathan Opitz, AIA to continue along this path of success.
Thanks to so many of you this year for your commitment of time, energy and promotion of our chapter and profession.
I challenge you to continue serving and advocating for our profession in 2018. Your knowledge and ideas will continue to strengthen our organization
. Blessings to you and yours at the close of this season and the beginning of a new year!
Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve AIA Arkansas.
2017 AIA President
Another Successful Convention is in the Books
More than 550 architects, associates, Allied members, presenters and guests converged on the Spa City for another successful AIA Arkansas State Convention this year.
Festivities kicked off with a round of golf in our annual golf tournament, as well as a bicycle sight-seeing tour through the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.
Members of the design and construction community shared experiences, products and ideas through bustling expo hall activities and presentations through the new "Innovation Stations." In addition to products and services, a host of continuing education seminars provided many professionals with an assorted range of exemplary programs on a variety of topics, including "virtual reality tools," "BIM collaboration" and "acoustical design."
A diverse and accomplished list of featured speakers provided insight into cutting-edge design, civic work and real estate development, and discussion of projects that have engaged and infused various communities around the globe. Speakers, such as Jonathan Tate, led discussions involving housing, infrastructure and the confluence between traditional practice and opportunistic planning.
A self-guided tour of Garvan Woodland Gardens, a walking tour of Bathhouse Row, the popular "Architect as Artist" competition, along with an energized leadership session for the Emerging Professionals kept attendees engaged throughout convention.
A packed house during the awards banquet experienced many wonderful projects showcasing Arkansas and its design community at work. In addition, our organization celebrated the achievements of some outstanding individuals that have furthered both the profession and our organization through exemplary representation and actions.
As always, our Allied members continued to support our efforts and remain a valuable part of all that we do as an organization. This was reflected once again through a wonderful turnout and participation.
- Kyle Cook, AIA
2017 Convention Chair
And the WINNER is...
David Sargent, AIA
Wins Sketch Contest
A new component of this year's AIA Arkansas State Convention was a sketch contest of beautiful Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs.
Sketching remains a valuable tool for our profession to communicate ideas and document the world around us. Attendees participated by submitting sketches of various styles and techniques depicting the area of Bathhouse Row.
The sketch contest winner was chosen based on most thought provoking and unique stylistic character. This year's winner is David Sargent, AIA
LEED AP with Witsell Evans Rasco Architects. He rec
eived a check for $50.
2017 Chapter & Design Award Winners
AIA Arkansas is very happy to recognize and salute the winners of our chapter awards.
Marlon Blackwell, FAIA
Marlon Blackwell Architects
Tim Maddox, AIA
Emerging Professional Award:
Heather Davis, AIA
Polk Stanley Wilcox
Information about these exceptional individuals is featured in our AIA Design Awards publication, distributed by Arkansas Business, which can be accessed at this link:
This publication showcases outstanding work by AIA Arkansas members, including the three Merit Award winners, the two Honor Award winners and the one Citation Award winner. Please take a few minutes to view the photos and details about these terrific projects.
Fay Jones School Presents Awards for Distinction, Recognizes Award-Winning Alumni Design Work
Front row from left, Mary Lee Shipp, Dr. Delbra Caradine, Ted and Leslie Belden, and Steve Kinzler. Back row from left, Reed Caradine, Jason Smith (ANCRC council member) and Debra Fithen (grants manager/ANCRC program manager). They all were presented with various Awards for Distinction from the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design during an Oct. 26 ceremony. Photo credit: Beth Hall
FAYETTEVILLE - For the second year, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas honored several individuals who have made contributions to the school, university and culture of design with Awards for Distinction.
These awards were presented, along with annual alumni design awards, during the school's Alumni Dinner and Recognition Ceremony, held Oct. 26 at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House on the university campus.
"The Fay Jones School is fortunate to possess more than 3,000 talented and committed alumni in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design, and it's a pleasure to recognize our alumni design award recipients each year," Dean Peter MacKeith said. "At the same time, we're just as fortunate to be able to recognize those who have contributed to the school and the larger design culture of Arkansas through their service, wisdom and example."
Distinguished Service Awards were given to Mary Lee Shipp (B.S.H.E. '76), who was instrumental in bringing the interior design program into the Fay Jones School; Steve Kinzler (B.Arch. '73), who has served as president of the school's Dean's Circle for 13 years; and Leslie (B.Arch. '79) and Ted Belden (B.Arch. '81), former co-chairs of the school's Campaign Arkansas committee, longtime supporters of the school and Dean's Circle members. This distinction is awarded annually in recognition of a recipient's significant contributions to the students and resources of the Fay Jones School, the university and the community.
Distinguished Alumni Awards went to Leslie and Ted Belden, as well as the late Wallace Caradine Jr. (B.Arch. '74). Caradine was the first African-American graduate of the Fay Jones School, a founding principal at Woods Caradine Architects and later Caradine Companies, and founder of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors. This distinction is awarded annually in recognition of an alumnus or alumna for significant contributions to the architecture and design culture locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
The 2017 Distinguished Young Alumni Award, handed out for the first time this year, is an annual distinction for an alumnus or alumna who has graduated in the last 15 years for significant contributions to the architecture and design culture locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Trinity Simons (B.Arch. '04), executive director of the Mayors' Institute on City Design, was designated as the inaugural Distinguished Young Alumni Award honoree. She currently serves on the school's campaign committee.
Dean's Medals were given to Robert Ivy, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects and the author of Fay Jones, a book of the late architect's work; and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC), which has provided grant funding for the Fay and Gus Jones House, projects at Garvan Woodland Gardens, the renovation of Old Main, and numerous other preservation projects. This distinction is awarded annually in recognition of a recipient's significant contributions to the architecture and design culture of the state of Arkansas, and to students and their education at the Fay Jones School.
In addition to the Awards for Distinction, the Fay Jones School also recognized several alumni projects with Fay Jones Alumni Design Awards. Designs for residential, educational, outdoor, commercial, medical, office, historic, exhibition, recreational and public urban spaces were among 32 projects vying for recognition in this year's alumni design awards competition. Entries came from Fay Jones School alumni practicing in cities around Arkansas as well as in Missouri, California, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, North Carolina and Peru. A six-member jury chose five projects for accolades - resulting in one Honor Award for Architecture, two Merit Awards for Architecture, and Honorable Mentions for Architecture and Exhibition Design.
Alumni from Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock received an Honor Award for Architecture, the highest award in this year's awards competition. Reese Rowland (B.Arch. '90), Cindy Pruitt (B.Arch. '95), David Porter (B.Arch. '82) and Josh Newton (B.Arch. '02) won the Honor Award for Architecture for Riggs CAT Headquarters, located in Little Rock. The new headquarters of a family owned, statewide Caterpillar (CAT) representative replaced a 50-year-old building with a light-filled, expressive structure overlooking the operations. The project reflects the branding, quality and technical prowess of the world-renowned manufacturer of heavy equipment.
"The mission and purpose of the building are capitalized upon to create an exciting environment that fully integrates interior design and the architecture," the jury said. "It is holistically conceived and consistently detailed inside and out."
Chris Baribeau (B.Arch. '03), Suzana Annable (B.Arch. '12), Michael Pope (B.Arch. '10) and Philip Rusk (B.Arch. '03) won a Merit Award for Architecture for the Dogwoodtrot House in Fayetteville. This design team is with Modus Studio in Fayetteville. The project represents a synthesis of the vernacular typology of a dogtrot house and the woodland hillside to create a modern model for a suburban home.
"This is an interesting design solution, well detailed and crafted, that draws upon regional form," the jury said. "The outdoor space becomes the heart of the house and provides a powerful frame to the landscape."
Chris Baribeau (B.Arch. '03), Josh Siebert (B.Arch. '02), Jason Wright (B.Arch. '04), Jody Verser (B.Arch. '10) and Suzana Annable (B.Arch. '12) received a Merit Award for Architecture for the University of Arkansas Art + Design District: Sculpture Studio in Fayetteville. The design team is also with Modus Studio, which partnered with El Dorado Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. This project is the beginning of a new campus district. An existing warehouse became a stark, simple form transcending humble origins.
"The quality of light and use of natural light and the economy of means creates an ethereal environment for art studios. The sculpture studios will function beautifully over a long span of time," the jury noted.
Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos (B.Arch. '03) won an Honorable Mention for Architecture for House H in Lima, Peru. Zevallos is with Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos in Peru. The project is an exploration of the promenade, creating a composition between privacy and circulation while maintaining constant conversation with materials.
"This is a beautifully executed and crafted home with a spare and carefully considered material pallet," jury members said. "The home integrates the landscape and garden to create a strong indoor-outdoor relationship."
Jonathan Boelkins (B.Arch. '04) and Laura Cochran (B.Arch. '16) won an Honorable Mention for Exhibition Design for The Iconic and the Everyday, in Washington, D.C. The design team is with Jonathan Boelkins Architect of Fayetteville. The project proposes an explicit condensed assertion of the contemporary presence and influence of Finnish design, industry and identity in the United States.
"The form and detailing of display cases position the exhibited objects as a power veil to the adjacent courtyard space," the jury said. "The exhibit cases are exquisitely detailed in conceptual alignment with the content."
Marsha Maytum, founding principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in San Francisco, served as jury chair for the design awards competition. Fellow jury members included two faculty members of the Fay Jones School, Carl Matthews, department head and professor of interior design; and Phoebe Lickwar, associate professor of landscape architecture. Additional jury members were Bo Ebbrecht, program manager and project architect at Harrison French and Associates in Bentonville; Trinity Simons, executive director of the Mayors' Institute on City Design in Washington, D.C.; and Martin Smith, principal at Ecological Design Group in Little Rock.
Cromwell Working to Turn Paint Factory
Into Office, Mixed-Used Development
Cromwell Architects Engineers purchased the Sterling Paint warehouse building in the fall of 2015 and is working with developer Moses Tucker to turn the 50,000-SF former factory and office space into a mixed-use development while retaining the historic elements of the building.
The building listed is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it will remain on the register after the completion of the renovation. It will be the new home to Cromwell's headquarters as well as retail space, loft apartments and a restaurant.
The Paint Factory renovation is the flagship project of a large revitalization of East Village, a downtown Little Rock neighborhood that has been long neglected. Cromwell will honor the history of this great Arkansas success story through a museum located in the vault of the lobby of the offices and through a series of educational plaques placed around the outside of the building.
Built in 1947, the building is an intact example of a post-war commercial and industrial building and is the only industrial building designed by Burks and Anderson, prominent Arkansas architects.
In 1914, A.H. Stebbins and Gardener Goldsmith started a modest sign painting business in the basement of a small commercial building on West Sixth Street in downtown Little Rock. In 1916, they expanded to manufacturing a small line of paints, operating as Stebbins & Goldsmith, renting the retail space above the basement workshop.
In 1919, Lindsey Roberts, the son of a well-known Pulaski County plantation owner, bought Goldsmith's interests, changing the name of the company to Stebbins & Roberts. The company expanded their retail operation and began producing a larger line of paints, "S&G Brand," which was quickly acquired by the Benjamin Moore Company. After a successful sales profile with the new line of paints, they placed sales agents in many towns around Arkansas selling Benjamin Moore paints, linseed oil and wallpapers.
After World War II, Stebbins & Roberts experienced massive growth, with 1946 being the most lucrative year in the company's history. To accommodate this growth, Stebbins & Roberts built a new office and factory building in the East End. The company continued to expand in the early 1950s and 1960s and received several high-profile supply contracts, such as the formulation of a clear varnish that was applied to the gold leaf dome of the Arkansas State Capitol.
The warehouse became overcrowded in the late 1960s, resulting in the decision to expand the original building, adding on a large wing to the east. The addition was completed in 1971. The company name changed to Sterling Paint in 1995, when Jim Adamson, son of longtime employee and former president Sterling Adamson, took over as president. The company was acquired in 2003 by Iowa Paint.
The Paint Factory is also unique when it comes to being environmentally friendly. The Paint Factory and the site that surrounds it have been designed to have a low impact on the environment. A number of features have been utilized to reduce the negative effects that these buildings can have on our planet.
The streetscape has been fit with bio-retention areas that will improve storm water quality and lessen the amount of water on the street. The building also includes low-flow drip irrigation and extensive use of native plants that will lower the water consumption of the building.
The Paint Factory also has two features that are the first of their kind in Arkansas - Active Solar Skylights and an Eco-Activ roof that reduces pollution. The skylights bring natural light into the core spaces of the building, reducing the need for artificial light. Power generated by the skylights will lower the building's energy consumption.
The roof, made by Siplast and applied by Mid-South roofing, is covered in a special Noxite granule that works to decrease pollutants in the air by absorbing them and turning them into harmless nitrate salt. Testing has shown that 20,000 SF of the Eco-Activ roof can neutralize the pollution caused by 10 vehicles driven 11,000 miles.
Cromwell is excited to join East Village neighbors Heifer International, Clinton Library and Entegrity in operating its building in a manner that reduces environmental impact. As stewards of our community, Cromwell is committed to the responsible use of natural resources in design and community development practice.
Firm Thanks Partners
As the completion date of the Paint Factory renovation gets closer, Cromwell Architects Engineers would like to extend its dearest and heartfelt thanks to all of its partners in this project, adding "we absolutely could not have done this without the generosity, guidance and support of our partners." They are listed below.
Mid-Ark Roofing - Don Lowry
Siplast - Justin Hughes and David Bell
Environmental Protection Associates - Terry Blaylock and Gary Nooner
Mid-America Marketing - Dave Reinhart
PSA, Inc. - James Ply
CA Riner - Charlie Carrone
Black Jack Mountain Marketing - Steve Calhoun
Jim Taylor Sales - Rusty Taylor
Airetech - John Oliver and Chance Hollinsworth
Jaco Sales - John Jaco
Gildner Maddox - Josh Maddox
ImageWorks - Rhonda Bradley and Desi Beers
Curtis Stout - Bruce Saad, Mark Chard, Andy McMahn
EVO - Chris Cerrato
Ace Glass - Courtney and Chris Little
3-Form - Kandid Scott and Carolyn Gawlik
Interface Carpet - Christi Hitch
Acme Brick and Tile - Linda Anderson
BPI - Kelly Adams
Victaulic - Neil Carlock
Malvern National Bank
Specialties Plus Inc. - Terry Davis
Pacific Shores Store - Randy Watson
Neolith - Randy Watson
The Garland Company - Tyler Newton
The Omni Group - JB Kauffman
Mondo Flooring - Bryan Sanders
Formed Solutions - Walt Todd and John Magee
Formica - Kate Dunnavant
Tarkett Commercial - Justin Dennis
National Wallcovering - Shawn Thompson
Plunkett Distributing - Amber Self
Armstrong Ceilings - Michelle Ashberry
Eagle Rock Coatings, Themec - Myron McWherler
LPS - Joe Cossich
Cromwell is confident that this renovation, which is
the flagship project of a revitalization of East Village,
will continue to inspire more progress in the neighborhood.
Inspiring change and fostering community growth are in Cromwell's DNA as a company. As the firm said in a press release, "It is the driving force behind what we do and the legacy of Mr. Cromwell."
New Mural in East Village Dedicated
Local artist Jose Hernandez painted a mural on the east wall of the former Water Color building that sits east of the Paint Factory on Sixth Street in the East Village.
Cromwell CEO Dan Fowler came across some of Hernandez's work and thought that his style embodied the grit and spirit of the neighborhood.
The original piece was inspired by the industrial feel and the history of the neighborhood. Many elements that can be found around East Village such as the railroad, steel and buildings on Sixth Street have been incorporated into the mural.
NW Section's Tap Room Tour Benefits Downtown Springdale
The NW Section, in partnership with the Emerging Professionals Committee, held its First Annual Tap Room Tour on Oct. 5 in downtown Springdale with libations, food, music and prizes.
Around 45 architects, designers, Allied members and guests participated. Four venues within walking distance were on the downtown tour with live music at the last stop at Black Apple. One of the top door prizes was an ARE voucher that was presented to Ashley Mauldin.
The Tap Tour was preceded by a CEU tour of the renovated Apollo Theater.
Planning was led by Holly Strother, AIA and Zac Cerrato with EVO. Special thanks to sponsors EVO, Entegrity, HP Engineering, Malstrom White, Meek's Lumber and DIRRT. All event proceeds benefit the Downtown Springdale Alliance, a nonprofit committed to making the 675 acres at the core of Springdale a vibrant and exciting place.
Remembering Wali Caradine
Delbra Caradine and the late Wali Caradine Jr. are shown at the John G. Williams Fellowship dinner held in February 2015 at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.
Photo credit: KES Photo
Born in 1949 and raised in West Memphis, Wali Caradine Jr. went to the University of Arkansas to study architecture. The fourth of seven children, and the eldest boy, he was the only one in his family to attend college.
He graduated in 1974 and was the first African-American graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.
Caradine died July 10, 2017, in Little Rock. He was 68.
"A distinguished alumnus of the Fay Jones School, Wali Caradine was an architect-leader in so many ways," said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School. "His strength of vision, character and ambition led him from West Memphis to the school, where he gained his professional degree in 1974; his graduation has led the way for subsequent generations of increasingly diverse students in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture.
"He will be remembered across the state and region for his contributions to the profession and practice of architecture through the design of significant public buildings, and by his committed advocacy of African-American architects and contractors."
His former business partner, Ron Woods, said of Caradine, "He was a good architect, a good contractor, a good friend, a good man."
After college, Caradine received additional training at the Construction Management Institute in Dallas. Over the course of his prolific career, Caradine made contributions to both the design and construction industries. He began his career as a designer at Pat Kelley Magruder Architects in West Memphis, before eventually venturing out on his own. His first business, Design and Construction Associates, was founded in 1978 and became one of the largest minority-owned contracting firms in Arkansas.
In the mid-1990s, Caradine returned to his first love - architecture and design. He and Ron Bene' Woods partnered to form Woods Caradine Architects, a relationship that lasted more than a decade. Their notable projects included two academic centers for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Statehouse Convention Center Expansion in Little Rock.
They were associate architects for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, which was completed in 2004, with Polshek Partnership Architects (now Ennead Architects) as lead architects. Other associate architects on that project were Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and WER Architects/Planners.
Another notable project is the Pathfinder Complex in Jacksonville. Pathfinder Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides support services for people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs in 13 locations throughout the state. Caradine also served on its board of directors in recent years.
In 2007, Caradine left Woods Caradine Architects to form Caradine & Company, where he practiced until his retirement earlier this year.
Caradine was loved and cherished by all who knew him. His gentle temperament, generosity and concern for others were demonstrated in tangible ways. He served as a mentor to many minority building contractors in Central Arkansas.
In 1986, he founded the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors. The organization has African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American members.
In 1998, Caradine joined the John G. Williams Fellowship in the Fay Jones School, a group that honors the founder of the architecture program at the university. Williams also was a dear friend and professor of Caradine's. Caradine also served as a member of the university's Central Arkansas Advisory Committee from 2009-13.
Caradine is survived by his wife, Dr. Delbra Caradine, a son, Reed Caradine, and a daughter, Ashley Caradine.
Look At Lonoke: A Place to Return
'Placemaking in a rural context embodies
a promise of redemption for our overlooked locations.'
By Ryan Biles, AIA
This past June, I attended a workshop in Wilson, Arkansas focused on creative placemaking here in the Delta. The workshop highlighted stories of success and challenge in towns similar to my hometown of Lonoke, and provided an opportunity to hear firsthand from the volunteers and leaders who are doing the hard work of reviving their own communities.
This creative placemaking workshop was one of several being facilitated by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) throughout the year. DRA is a federal economic development authority that works cooperatively with partner entities such as Lonoke-based Central Arkansas Planning & Development District (CAPDD) to facilitate special projects in our area.
This workshop in Wilson also provided an opportunity to have numerous conversations about the progress and work that the people of Lonoke have recently initiated. I am struck by the realization that our story is spreading across the region, and for the first time in quite a while, people around the state are again taking a look at Lonoke.
One fact long-recognized by the workshop attendees is that rural communities have experienced a phenomenon resulting in the abandonment of place over the last five decades. The statistics of population loss here in the Delta are widely published and studied by economic developers and leaders. The effects of "rural brain drain" are clear, both on paper and visibly, as you drive through the small communities of our region.
Interestingly, medium-sized and large cities have also experienced a shift during this same time period. In studying the causes and consequences of urban and suburban development patterns, we find complex and extensive contributing factors. As people of mobility found their own reasons to leave urban centers behind decades ago, our nation's great cities were left with gaping holes in population and built fabric. Among the compounded results of this sequence of decisions are cities with empty downtown parking lots where grand buildings once stood and the expansion of congested suburbs with generic forms and unfamiliar faces. A person need only consider the amount of time spent on a daily commute to realize that we live with a different set of priorities than our grandparents.
While many factors differ between the rural and urban plights, a common thread exists: the baggage of one place is exchanged for the perceived "cleanliness" of a new location. In both scenarios, mobility enables exodus. There is a demonstrated tendency to gravitate toward the "new" and leave behind the complicated and the messy. While "new" is seen as an opportunity to claim a "clean" environment for ourselves, we often forget to consider the people and places that are left behind when we pursue our new personal ideal. Sadly, one real reason we see populations abandon their former neighbors and neighborhoods is, quite simply, the pursuit of isolation and separation.
So, the patterns of the past have left a landscape of places with rich history and character exchanged for locations with no story and no distinction. Yet, even with this reality, it seems the future is promising for our left-behind places. Research is revealing that the next generation of homebuyers and business owners have a strong preference to invest in locations with a story and potential - places just like Lonoke.
A recently released survey by the National Trust for Historic Preservation indicates that 44 percent of respondents who were born between 1981 and 1998 prefer living in a neighborhood with historic character. Additionally, when traveling, 71 percent of the upcoming generation enjoys exploring the history of an area, and over two-thirds have an interest in staying at an historic hotel. Perhaps most importantly, the survey indicates that 53 percent of millennials personally believe that buildings, architecture, neighborhoods, and communities must be preserved, conserved, and protected in order to keep a community culturally rich and diverse.
In response to trends demonstrated by such data, much of the focus of the planning and design professions today is oriented around a correction of the entrenched development patterns and mindsets of recent decades. Often, these design solutions emphasize traditional forms and densities found in historic neighborhoods and towns. We may look no further than our own state to find exemplary communities, both small and large, rural and urban, which have embraced their existing built fabric and historic downtowns, bringing new ideas to life in old buildings.
A collection of these success stories has been assembled in an annual publication entitled Block, Street, & Building: The Best of New Urbanism in Arkansas, edited by Daniel Hintz. In this year's edition, architects, landscape architects, and planners around the state have contributed case studies and perspectives on the power of good design to create experiences which make attractive and sustainable places. In Hintz's publication, I contributed a short written piece entitled "Planting Roots," writing, "I am learning that placemaking in a rural context embodies a promise of redemption for our overlooked locations."
That promise may be realized in celebrating the arts and recognizing the creative talents that exist right here in our hometown. I recently heard Mickey Howley, director of the Main Street Association in Water Valley, Mississippi, remind a crowd that, "Small towns don't have to be cultural vacuums - they can be home to interesting stuff!"
This current movement of investment in authentic places and experiences gives me reason to believe that Lonoke's existing historic fabric can also become a vessel for new dreams. As neighbors who appreciate the blessing of proximity that we share here, Lonoke is already becoming the visible, attractive, and connected community that we envision and which the next generation is seeking.
It is entirely possible that the very mobility which once propelled young families, students, and entrepreneurs from their places of origin may now be the vehicle that compels them to return. When they do, may Lonoke be a place in which they invest and invite others to join as neighbors.
Ryan Biles is an architect (University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School, B. Arch. '03) and an associate at SCM Architects, based in Little Rock and Fayetteville. He is married to Natalie Biles, an interior designer (University of Arkansas, B. ID, '04) and together they are raising three sons in Lonoke, Arkansas, population 4,287. Ryan recently concluded his service on the Lonoke Planning & Zoning Commission.
This column was first published in the July 19, 2017, edition of the
Lonoke County Democrat weekly newspaper, linked
in its original format, and is collected with an archive of his writing on the website
Entegrity's Northwest Office
LEED Gold Certification
The Entegrity Northwest Arkansas Office, located at 121 West South St. in Fayetteville, has earned LEED Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program.
It is the first project in the state to earn certification under the latest, and most stringent,
version 4 of the internationally renowned sustainable building rating system.
"Projects like the Entegrity Office in Fayetteville set a strong example of leadership in action," Linda K. Smith, USGBC director for Arkansas and Oklahoma, said. "They showcase how LEED v4 is providing project teams with a rigorous set of requirements and guidelines that when successfully implemented, can lead a 50-year-old building to become a top performer, saving energy and combating climate change. This LEED v4 Gold certification is an opportunity to highlight the highest level of building performance in Northwest Arkansas and clearly demonstrates the owner's commitment to sustainable practices. "
The major renovation, located a few blocks from the historic Fayetteville town square, is a single story 2,400-SF building originally built in 1963. Entegrity purchased the property in 2013 and created an energy-efficient, open-office floor plan while improving the sustainable landscaping features.
"We approached the project wanting to create a dynamic work environment for ourselves, but we also wanted to demonstrate to our clients that even a small project budget can achieve a high LEED certification level," Entegrity NWA Office Director John Coleman said. "The energy and water savings have been better than anticipated with an average utility cost of less than $100 per month."
Similar to Entegrity's headquarters in Little Rock, the building has maximized energy efficiency opportunities and is net-zero energy ready.
The building's renovation was guided by sustainable design and construction principles that took into account social, environmental and economic priorities. Project highlights for the building include:
- Water use reduction of 46 percent.
- Energy cost savings of 49 percent (21 EUI).
- Native and adapted landscaping, including a butterfly garden.
- Pedestrian-friendly site with bike storage, showers and Complete Street design.
- Electric car charging station.
- High-capacity rain cistern.
"It is important to have a work environment that supports the needs and values of employees, and our office environment certainly does that," Entegrity employee Meredith Hendricks said. "From task lighting to abundant natural lighting, bike parking and showers and operable windows that bring the outdoors in on a nice day, our office provides employees a comfortable environment while providing opportunities to connect to the natural world."
CERO Wins Crystal Achievement Award
NanaWall Systems is excited to announce that Window & Door Magazine has named its CERO by NanaWall product as the winner of its 2017 Crystal Achievement Award for Most Innovative Multi-Panel Door.
The Crystal Achievement Awards are awarded annually by a panel of 11 qualified judges to recognize residential door and fenestration manufacturers and component suppliers for their contributions to the industry. Merit is based upon different categories of innovation.
CERO is NanaWall's minimal framed large panel sliding glass wall system. CERO offers full floor to ceiling sliding glass panels with recessed top and bottom tracks for a picture frame effect.
"As the population in the high-end door market segment increases, it becomes significantly harder to differentiate ... NanaWall CERO created a way to establish an aesthetically pleasing design with highly desirable performance attributes," noted a judge of the Crystal Achievement Awards.
Downtown Revitalization of Tulsa
By Jon Murphy
Thermal Windows, Inc.
The last decade has seen numerous and impressive changes in the downtown Tulsa area.
It began with a few bold individuals opening restaurants, lounges, coffee bars, art galleries and boutique shops. Government then invested in the new Driller Baseball stadium, officially known as ONEOK Field, and of course, the BOK Center, with its 19,000-plus seating capacity. This modern-looking arena is known nationwide as a prime concert venue.
These "anchor" projects, along with amenities such as Guthrie Green and Reconciliation Park, have turned downtown Tulsa into a destination for people throughout the region seeking art, entertainment, unique food and a vibrant night life.
The development of downtown businesses helped to establish an urban lifestyle that is thriving and ever-growing. If you haven't visited lately, you will be surprised by the number of apartments, hotels and businesses recently added or currently under construction.
One such project is the recently renovated Tulsa World Palace Building at 324 S. Main, which is now called The Palace Apartments. In a nod to the trend known as "mixed-use" buildings, it will include fast food restaurants and other businesses on the ground floor, with modern apartments in the eight stories above. All of the apartments feature double hung windows manufactured by Thermal Windows, Inc.
The list of projects added in the last year alone is impressive. The popular Boxyard at 502 E. Third St. is a unique shopping center constructed from used shipping containers. The old YMCA near Fifth and Denver has just reopened as luxury condominiums. Across the street, the completely remodeled Central Library is now open, with many new features, including free parking and a Starbucks right inside.
Another high-visibility project is at the corner of Greenwood and Archer,
appropriately named GreenArch. It showcases several businesses such as Lefty's on Greenwood, a Subway restaurant and a yoga studio on the ground floor, with more to come.
Just a couple of blocks from there is a brand new, four-story apartment building called The Edge. And on the other side of downtown, there is the recently remodeled Mansion House apartments. All three of these buildings also have windows and doors made just a few miles away in the same city by Thermal Windows, Inc.
Currently in the pipeline for downtown are two more hotels, several more mixed-use facilities, a major grocery store chain, multiple office buildings and many more remodel projects of older, iconic buildings. When you visit downtown Tulsa these days, you can feel excitement in the air. With so much going on, the future is looking bright for years to come.
Jon Murphy is a manufacturer's rep for Thermal Windows, Inc., a nationally recognized manufacturer of custom windows and doors. The company serves all markets from individual homeowners to large commercial projects with 60,000 to 80,000 products manufactured annually. For more information, call (918) 663-7580, visit thermalwindows.com or stop by the showroom and manufacturing plant at 31st & 129th East Avenue in Tulsa for a factory tour.