City U Bentonville, AR
City U is the winning entry for Site 1 in the Housing Northwest Arkansas international design competition. The project proposes a multi-family housing model that uses simple building forms at multiple scales to integrate new development into the “small-town character” of Bentonville’s neighborhood fabric. Ozark Podium is designed around a framework of seven priorities.
SCALE: create a range of building sizes that allow the developer(s) to transition from the single-family neighborhood context to multi-story mixed-use buildings.
NEIGHBORHOOD LANDSCAPE: contribute to the surrounding neighborhood character which is defined by trees, lawns, parks, and trails that integrate into the regional network of natural amenities.
REDUCE PARKING IMPACT: satisfy parking requirements by introducing on-street parking and aggregating the remainder of spaces under a simple podium. The aggregated parking area doubles as a flexible landscape for events such as farmer’s markets.
SIMPLE FORMS: connect straightforward building forms to the traditional vernacular architecture of the region by arranging simple forms on a landscape to create a rich and varied set of experiences similar to the arrangement of small buildings on an Ozark farmstead.
KIT-OF-PARTS: develop a system of dwelling units that can be collected into housing units of various sizes and combined to fit multiple sites.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: integrate sensible planning techniques that align with environmentally responsible best practices such as use of renewable materials, increased building insulation, and natural ventilation.
COMMUNITY ECONOMY: encourage local economic opportunities for small businesses by incorporating appropriately scaled live-work commercial spaces and the potential for small local builders to participate in the construction of the wood-framed project.
Will was the Lead Designer, Associate and Project Manager for CityU while at OLIN.