Located in Bentonville, Ark., the 8th Street Market project transformed a blighted Tyson Foods processing plant into a community-focused food hub. Anchored by the Brightwater culinary arts school, 8th Street Market is home to a variety of restaurants and retailers, as well as craft brewery Bike Rack Brewing Co. The market is the first phase of a 55-acre master plan for Bentonville’s Market District, and has helped ignite the district’s redefinition as a destination.
The design created an authentic and unique lifestyle hub for the public, catalyzed by an increased interest with local food production, communal activity and the beautiful natural landscape of Northwest Arkansas. The main conduit for this transformation and regrowth is called “The Vine.” The Vine is a shade structure that created a covered band of activity around the existing building, recalling the traditional covered zones found in historic markets. Inspired by a combination of the traditional market typology and agricultural vernacular, it provides opportunities for activity while integrating landscape and site amenities. It will become a literal zone of regrowth as the landscape matures around the structure.
The main vehicles for the transformation are the Courtyard, Skylight and Vine. The Courtyard is a new insertion that demarcated the brewery, established an entrance for the school and created 320 feet of storefront. The Skylight transformed an existing mechanical opening into a real estate asset. The Vine is a 580-foot shade structure that creates a covered band of activity. The Vine recalls the traditional covered zones found in historic markets. Inspired by a combination of the traditional market typology and agricultural vernacular, it provides opportunities for activity while integrating landscape and site amenities. It became a literal zone of regrowth as the landscape matured around the structure. The perforations in the structure are an abstraction of Arkansas’ Buffalo River, designed with a local Bentonville artist and fabricated by Zahner.