Crafted from the old bones of former warehouse and business offices of the local Ozark’s Electric Co-op, the 15 Church (LEED Platinum) and 200 Center (LEED Registered) buildings have been transformed into a series of modern and sustainable office, retail, and living spaces. Remaining true to the industrial heritage, the interior spaces are simple, clean, and flexible with exposed structure and taking advantage of the existing sectional qualities of the building.
15 Church is clad in a new skin of charred Arkansas Cypress. The Architect’s sought to develop a truly Ozark Shou Sugi Ban process—gritty, raw, and pragmatic. The team fabricated a forge, processed the organic material, and self-performed the installation of the rainscreen. The new patinated skin provides natural character and luster to contrast the refinished stucco bones. Shadow patterns and dimensionality are inherit to the new veiled second floor face the building presents to the downtown context. The architecture firm’s fabrication shop in concert with the alley between the buildings is a catalyst space often used to host various art and community events.
200 Center sits in a prominent downtown position but sadly is the only building holding the corner of its intersection, a strong counter to the ‘missing teeth’ parking lots. With this in mind the design and developer partners decided to create a community front porch, a true anchor, and peeled back the once-glazed corner lobby to reveal a covered space to serve a staple community coffee shop.
Interior and exterior connections at both buildings are amplified by purposefully placed moments of landscape and hardscape. The lines are blurred on a once stark canvas dominated by asphalt and parking. New skylights and steel window apertures provide ample daylight and views, eliminating the need for artificial lighting on most work days. This reinforces open collaborative spaces that are desired by the designers and developers that own the buildings. Lush areas of planting are framed by custom steel planters, cisterns, and frameworks that capture fun spaces in once-benal residual spaces.
Downtown Fayetteville has precious few examples of old building stock with the capacity to explore this type of new life in the context. We saw the opportunity in the Church + Center complex to practice what we preach by revitalizing a piece of the city in which we live, work, and play—all together.