Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Posts tagged “Arkansas Architecture

Thorncrown Chapel (1980)

E. Fay Jones, Architect

12968 U.S. 62 Eureka Springs, AR

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Visited April 29, 2013

A Masterpiece. This building received the AIA’s 25 year Award, and is a truly spiritual place. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains outside Eureka Springs, this proud tall structure is exquisitely detailed, even though it is constructed mostly of 2×4’s and other common stock lumber. Although quite small in size, the proportions of the structure and view of the forest all around provides an experience that rivals some of the grand cathedrals – a pure, calm, reflective experience that was both relaxing and exhilarating at the same time..if that makes sense. It is one of those experiences that is hard to put into words. Just sitting there and watching the hawks or eagles ( I am not a ornithologist) soaring in the blue sky through the tree branches, with the ferns and moss covering the rocky outcropping of the forest floor it was really quite fantastic. If you are lucky, ask the host if she is the musical director of the chapel. She may go up to the altar and sing Amazing Grace – It was an extra beautiful bonus. Sometimes I wonder how I happen upon these moments…it seems it happens more often then I deserve.

Heifer International World Headquarters (2006)

Reese Rowland AIA, Project Designer

1 World Avenue, Little Rock AR

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Visited April 25 & 26 2013

What I love about my roadtrips is that I come across all sorts of unusual and unexpected surprises.

There is a large development behind the Clinton Center that peaked my interest, and I discovered that it all started with a cow…yes, a cow.

From their website, “Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth”. The story of how it started is one of those simple stories that just makes sense:

“Moved by the plight of orphans and refugees… as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk, Dan West… grasped that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid.”

The facility is actually a couple buildings, a large office building and a low pavilion which is used as a demonstration and education space. The complex was designed as a sustainable project with telltale sunscreens, natural planting areas, and roofwater runoff directed down creatively conceived troughs in the concrete wingwalls to water the planting beds.

With limited time, and an overcast rainy day, my experience and photos of the complex are very superficial and limited. After seeing the buildings from a distance, I just walked over in the misty rain and started taking pictures. I did not grasp the full impact of the Heifer organization and their buildings until I went through their website after I got back home…

It looks to me like they are doing a great job with both their mission and their buildings!

While in Little Rock, if you want to try a fun colorful place for dinner, I recommend Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro