Design Award Entries

Red Barn

Red Barn is a carefully crafted agri-hood in Bentonville, Arkansas. The design is contextually sensitive, deriving materiality from the simplistic vernacular forms of the site and region. A blend and balance of townhomes and flats are designed with ample outdoor spaces to enrich the experience of the agriculture that is produced on site to create a strong live, work, and play community.

Project Statement

Red Barn is a carefully crafted Agri-hood in Bentonville, Arkansas. The design is contextually sensitive, deriving materiality from the simplistic vernacular forms of the site and region. A blend and balance of townhomes and flats are designed with ample outdoor spaces to enrich the experience of the agriculture that is produced on site to create a strong live, work, and play community.

As Bentonville is rapidly expanding, this project seeks to be a counterpoint to basic suburban sprawl and a heavy departure from the woes of typical suburban apartment architecture. While sprawl puts a strain on municipal infrastructure, hinders watersheds, and destroys valuable farmland – this project specifically celebrates and respects the agricultural DNA of Northwest Arkansas by following a few key sustainable ideals of conservation planning principles, preserving state-significant soils while retaining and enhancing heritage fields, leveraging agriculture as a community-building amenity, continuing the city’s dedication to trail connectivity, and living the “Arkansas lifestyle.”

Vernacular agricultural forms are singular in nature, simple in material palette, and timeless. The expression of the flats reflects the calmness of the native agricultural forms on the site. Metal panel facades are drawn from barns, chicken houses, and sheds seen locally. This industrial material is juxtaposed with wood screens and large screen porches. Parking is both garage and surface parking clusters along the “allee” space between the flats and townhouses. The townhouses, both in massing and material, draw from traditional town forms. White board and batten, cedar, and warm gray brick take traditional local materials in a modern direction. While the flats connect to the site through large screened porches that look onto the forests and fields, the townhouses connect at the ground, through neighborhood lawns and community spaces.

This project provides young professionals, growing families, and older couples a unique opportunity to live in close proximity to downtown Bentonville, but also a unique “Ozark living” experience -- in a neighborhood designed with architecture and landscape carefully considered as an enhancement to the land, not a dominating force over the historical, agrarian context.

AIA Arkansas