Design Award Entries

The Double Barrel “Trot” Gun

What do you get when you combine two shotguns with a dog trot? The Double Barrel ‘Trot’ Gun! The merger of these two vernacular forms was conceived to address the neighborhood’s traditional design guidelines while providing the site and homeowner a contemporary architectural expression they desired.

Project Statement

Perched along the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, this home for a young family captures the essence of modern living within a traditional gated community. The site is distinguished by fronting the Arkansas River & River Trail, which is a 16 mile hike and bike trail loop that lines the river bank of Arkansas’ Capital City, Little Rock.

The family discovered the vacant lot while riding their bikes on the trail in 2018. Knowing the location was perfect for their active lifestyle and proximity to downtown, the challenge was to design a budget-friendly contemporary home for their growing family that also worked within the neighborhood’s traditional design guidelines. The architect leaned on two local vernaculars for inspiration and created a concept that met both the desires of the neighborhood and the homeowners. The dog-trot and shotgun style homes have a deep tradition in the rural South and Central Arkansas is no stranger to these types of homesteads.

The project’s tight budget also benefited from the straightforward design approach. The home consists of two gabled shotguns that connect on the ground floor under a flat roof. The large front and back glass doors bridge the gap between the two shotguns and serve as a nod to the dog-trot’s breezeway. The outdoor space of these vernacular homes acted as the social core, so it was important this home offered these spaces as well. The large on-grade front porch welcomes guests off the trail while the elevated balcony provides more privacy for the homeowner. In order to minimize obstructions of the river view, the design team utilized steel beams and columns to create the 10’ cantilevered balcony that also provides much needed shade for the south facing front porch below.

The home was designed with a minimal palette of durable and readily available materials with careful attention to the window and door placement. The white metal roof and walls were selected to create a shell for the home in order to reflect the sun’s oppressive summer heat. The large sliding doors under the overhangs take full advantage of the steady cool breezes coming off the river. The tongue and groove wood soffits break up the high contrasting exterior and warmly welcome guests inside the home.

AIA Arkansas