ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo

Studio Gang reveal design for expansion of Arkansas Arts Center at Little Rock

Starting from the inside out, the design clarifies the organization of the building and extends its presence into MacArthur Park and out to Crescent Lawn
– Jeanne Gang

The executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC), situated in Little Rock’s historic MacArthur Park, has announced details of a striking expansion for the attraction, designed by architects Studio Gang.

Todd Herman revealed that 127,000sq ft (11,800sq m) of renovated and new spaces will be created for the centre to strengthen the connections between the visual and performing arts in an inclusive space that welcomes a diverse community.

“This an exciting moment for the Arkansas Arts Center, central Arkansas, and the entire state. The reimagined Arts Center will be a welcoming place that encourages prolonged and meaningful interaction with the collection and programs at the Arts Center," he said.

“It’s intended to be a gathering place for the community that highlights the interplay between the AAC and the surrounding park.”

Design features of the reimagined facility will include an indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking the park; a a new north entrance revealing the original 1930s façade; a second floor of galleries; expanded art studios; a new drawing research centre and conservation lab, a dedicated black box theatre; and a family art adventure space. A flexible ‘Cultural Living Room’ will serve as an extension of the galleries, an event space and a place for community gatherings.

Herman described the AAC – which is made up of eight additions to the 1937 Museum of Fine Arts – as “a very complicated puzzle”, adding that Studio Gang are “the right architects to transform our institution into a destination for arts education and a hub that connects the programs of the AAC with newly designed outdoor spaces.”

The concept design – developed by Studio Gang alongside Little Rock-based Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and landscape firm SCAPE – reorganises the current programme and architectural envelope, while creating a new visual identity for the site. Described as “pleated, organic architecture”, the new north-facing city entrance will be connected to a glass pavilion and south-facing park entrance to create an open axis public gallery through the building, connecting all the different components.

“Starting from the inside out, the design clarifies the organization of the building and extends its presence into MacArthur Park and out to Crescent Lawn,” said Gang. “By doing so, the Center becomes a vibrant place for social interaction, education, and appreciation for the arts.”

Outside, the landscape design will feature “inviting spaces” inspired by Little Rock’s unique regional ecologies – including the banks of Fourche Creek, the bluffs of Emerald Park, and the agrarian landscapes of the Mississippi Delta. New public plazas and gardens will be added at the north and south entrances, and planted groves along the west side of the building will create a forested edge that blends into the park.

According to Herman, the building and landscape designs will serve to increase visitor services by 81 per cent, exhibitions and collections management by 25 per cent and educational and public programmes by 50 per cent. The centre currently welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually, with 40,000 children and families using its dedicated Children's Theatre.

A construction budget, provided by public and private funds, has been set at US$70m (€57.4m, £50.8m), and groundbreaking is scheduled for Q4 2019. The project is anticipated to be completed in early 2022.

Studio Gang was selected as design architect out of five finalist firms in December 2016.

Describing the need for the project, Herman said: “More people visited art museums in the United States last year than attended every NFL and NBA game combined. In two recent studies conducted by the American Alliance of Museums, data shows that museums contribute US$50bn (€41.4bn, £36.3bn) to the US economy and generate more than US$12bn (€9.8bn, £8.7bn) a year in tax revenue.

“We expect that this project will set Little Rock apart from similar sized cities and be an essential partner in building our economic future.”

Arkansas Arts Center  Little Rock  Jeanne Gang  SCAPE  Todd Herman 
Related stories
20 Jul 2017

Studio Gang reveal 'transformational' concept to revitalise Memphis riverfront

07 Jul 2017

Studio Gang's intricate domed hive opens National Building Museum's summer series

05 Sep 2016

Studio Gang will design next year's Summer Block Party for Washington D.C building museum

07 Mar 2016

Jeanne Gang wins Architect of the Year at the Women in Architecture Awards

18 Feb 2016

Studio Gang complete illuminated Chicago theatre

05 Nov 2015

Studio Gang unveil cave design for American Museum of Natural History's US$325m expansion

The executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC), situated in Little Rock’s historic MacArthur Park, has announced details of a striking expansion for the attraction, designed by architects Studio Gang. Todd Herman revealed that 127,000sq ft (11,800sq m) of renovated and new spaces will be created for the centre to strengthen the connections between the visual and performing arts in an inclusive space that welcomes a diverse community. “This
CLD,VAT,HAM,AAC,ARC,DES
The concept design reorganises the current programme and architectural envelope, while creating a new visual identity for the site / Studio Gang
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7781     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7781     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Cucinelli’s Monument to Human Dignity was unveiled in September 2018 within the Park of Dignity
"It would be great if today’s men left as a legacy for the future some architectural and humanistic monuments for the next hundred, three hundred, one thousand years"

BrunelloCucinelli has madehisfortune from cashmere and has used hiswealthto restoreandrevive theItalian hamlet he callshome. Wefindout more

The 2,000sq m Ayurah Wellness Centre fuses spiritual and medical care, with a range of medical 
and spa facilities
Kenzo Takada fashion designer
"Kenzo has created an unparalleled private island"

Designing interiors for a new Cambodian wellness retreat

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The interior showcases a mix of reclaimed industrial features and was designed by Studio C102
"We’re passionate about market disupters – companies with conviction and a will to change"

The founders of new microgym 1Rebel

Contemporary artists bring a modern twist to the historic interior at W Paris – Opéra. Rockwell Group Europe were responsible for the design
David Rockwell
"For me it’s about constantly recreating an environment in which you’re willing to not know the answer"

From Nobu Restaurants and Ian Schrager’s latest hotel to Imagination Playgrounds and the set design for The Rocky Horror Show, US architect and designer David Rockwell always keeps it fresh. He tells us the secrets of his creativity

Reclaimed oak floorboards have been used throughout
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

cladkit product news
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
cladkit product news
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo