Design Award Entries

Centerton City Hall

The Centerton City Hall complex showcases forward-thinking design with a courthouse and city hall building detaching to form a central courtyard that encourages interaction among citizens and among city employees from different departments. With its confident form and modern palette, this new municipal complex challenges preconceived notions of traditional small-town civic facilities and serves as a beacon of progress that sets the stage for the imminent growth coming to Centerton.

Project Statement

Centerton City Hall, located in Centerton, Arkansas, stands as a testament to forward-thinking design in a rapidly growing suburban community. This 14,459-square-foot complex comprises a courthouse and a city hall building, each serving specific functions to meet the city's growing list of needs. The courthouse boasts a 126-seat courtroom, court administration area, and judge's chambers, while the city hall houses the mayor's office, general city administration offices, planning department, public works department, finance department, and flexible workspaces. Situated on an existing municipal campus alongside the police department and fire department facilities and surrounded on three sides by traditional suburban neighborhoods, the design and scale of the city hall complex were carefully considered to integrate seamlessly with the surrounding context.

The architectural approach revolves around creating a central courtyard between the courthouse and city hall, fostering community interaction and interaction among city employees from different departments. The "courtyard cluster" design divides the city hall into two distinct components, providing an intimate and vibrant space adorned with festoon lighting and maximizing access to natural light through smaller building footprints. The arrangement of public offices towards the street access ensures easy accessibility, while private functions are strategically positioned away from the public connection. The integration of natural spaces surrounding and connecting the building cluster adds to the overall ambiance. The simple yet effective use of plan and section associations encourages communication between citizens and city officials.

The primary exterior material is smooth dark grey modular brick, arranged in running bond and soldier courses, creating a timeless and durable finish that befits a public structure. Inside, a poplar-clad stair with integrated bench seating connects the floor levels in the lobby of the city hall building, while the wood panel grille ceiling system in the courtroom establishes a visual reference to the stair. The lighting scheme is both efficient and flexible, enhancing the overall interior environments that were intentionally designed to be neutral and non-distracting, allowing the focus to remain on the work being done. With its confident form and modern palette, the Centerton City Hall challenges preconceived notions of traditional small-town civic complexes. It serves as a beacon of progress and sets the stage for the imminent growth coming to Centerton.