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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization in Arkansas by University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

 
August 17th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article Source: University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

The Creative Corridor retrofits a four-block segment of an endangered downtown Main Street through economic development catalyzed by the cultural arts rather than Main Street’s traditional retail base. The goal is to structure an identity for the Creative Corridor rooted in a mixed-use working and living environment anchored by the arts.

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

  • Architects: University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect
  • Project: The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization
  • Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • Client: City of Little Rock
  • Building Square Footage: This project preserves 891,000 square feet of existing space in 28 historical structures and stipulates mixed-use functions in 532,000 square feet among four proposed infill structures. Possible programs include a cinema complex, symphony and ballet offices and rehearsal space, culinary school, art galleries, and corporate offices
  • Land Area: 12.2 acres

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

The challenge involves restructuring a public realm conceived for workaday commercial activities to now serve 24/7 urban lifestyles with a high level of livability. The project approach employs four developmental phases in the corridor’s transformation to a downtown node. Nodes provide a sense of centrality and opportunity for social life that counters the dominance of mobility in corridors.

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Retrofit strategies entail right-of-way reconfigurations accommodating streetcar rail transit as well as pedestrian-oriented streetscapes and townscaping structures that frame a new land-use ecology of residential, tourism, work, and the cultural arts. An additional challenge regards the compatibility between proposed larger infill buildings using curtain wall technologies and early 20th century commercial buildings fashioned from the expressive order of brick and stone. To ensure coherence among different eras of development, design solutions rely on the urbanism of streetscapes—landscape architecture, ecological engineering, public space configurations, frontage systems, and miscellaneous assemblages.

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

The Creative Corridor Plan is premised on the aggregation of cultural organizations scattered throughout Little Rock. Some of these groups exist at the financial margins and their ongoing viability increases through new synergies common to aggregation. Facilities slated to anchor the Creative Corridor include instruction and production space for the symphony, ballet, arts center, visual artists, theater, and dance, as well as a culinary arts economy that triangulates restaurants, demonstration, and education. Despite adaptive reuse challenges to residential, large-format office, and cultural production functions, the Creative Corridor generates niche value from the reclamation of a heritage environment whose exceptional place-making qualities cannot be replicated.

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

Image Courtesy © University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

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Category: Main Street

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