As a part of the update to the Arvest Bank that had been in its location in Bentonville, Arkansas for many years, Arvest wanted to give back to the community by providing both amenities and a place to rest for the people who use the bike trail which extends near the location of the bank. They also wanted the project to reflect the movement of the community towards nature and art.
The client wanted to use this section of their property near the existing bike trail system as a way to give back to, and provide an amenity for, the community. Their initial idea was to use some of the recognizable elements of the bank in the project. Through collaborative discussions and design charrettes with the owner, alternative concepts evolved leading to the final design.
There were several challenging aspects to the site that needed to be navigated while still being able to achieve both the functional and aesthetic qualities of the project. There are public utilities running along the property line that need specific clearances from the trailhead to meet city requirements and which set up the need for adequate height restrictions for the canopy above. Sufficient separation between the trailhead and the bank had to be considered, as well as keeping the pavilion as close to the trail as possible. With the site being quite narrow and steep, it took several iterations to work through the varying constraints to produce a complete design. The trailhead provides important functions you would expect to be on the bike trail, such as a drinking fountain, bike rack and bike repair station, a place to rest and find shade, and lighting at night. The pavers chosen allow water permeation and easy removal for the city if they need to work on the utilities that run below. The canopy is primarily suspended from rods that attach to the columns with clevis and turnbuckle to enhance the idea of its suspension. The materials were chosen for durability and contrast and the weathering steel walls and canopy were designed to simulate the shadow quality of biking in the trees.