University of Arkansas, Garland Center

Fayetteville, Arkansas

The Garland Center was conceived as a mixed-use development incorporating a 1,600-car parking facility; 20,000 square feet of retail space; and a 32,000-square-foot bookstore. The new facilities were intended to create a prominent gateway into the university, and also respond to the materiality of the existing campus architecture, consisting primarily of ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,600COST PER SQ FT$47.00CITATIONParking Facilities CitationFEATURED IN2013 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYCommunity Center/Joint Use buildings.

The site is at the edge of an urban campus and is situated between residential and student housing, and adjacent to the campus core. The three program elements (parking, retail and bookstore) were composed so the facility would be a welcoming first impression to the university, an interesting and safe place to occupy that maximizes its future retail potential. A pocket plaza was inserted between the bookstore and garage to create an intimate gathering area and a welcoming environment for those moving through the shared elevator tower backdrop. 

Drawn from the textural and color palette found on the oldest buildings at the university, the new structures are clad in a combination of various terra-cotta systems and cement-board rainscreen panels. For the garage, a system of two baguette sizes with some randomly rotated 90 degrees helps screen the cars from view while providing a texture reminiscent of the exposed layered bedrock found throughout the region. The bookstore, a simple steel structure with hollow core decking, was conceived as a cement-board and glass box with a suspended terra-cotta sunscreen on the primary street elevations. Large openings in the screen elements are a direct response to the various sales departments contained within.

The bookstore interior prioritizes daylight and was deliberately kept simple with a limited material palette of glass and either white-painted or dark-stained wood, so as not to detract from the architecture and merchandise.

“Sensitive to pedestrian traffic. A well-organized mixed-use facility.”--2013 jury