Little Rock Neighborhood Draws Winning Design from Architects

by George Waldon  on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 12:00 am  

A creative concept is poised to leave the drawing board and help invigorate a neighborhood with new, cutting-edge homes.

The Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corp., which owns the would-be site for the Rock Street Pocket Housing Project, formed a committee on Feb. 5 that explore the proposal.

One of the Visioning Committee’s charges is to determine how to make the award-winning design a reality.

“The main thing is organizing the necessary partners to make the development happen,” said Scott Grummer, volunteer and acting executive director of the Downtown Little Rock CDC.

Professional accolades for the project generated additional buzz as the project received an Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects this year.

The Downtown Little Rock CDC commissioned the residential development design from the University of Arkansas Community Design Center in Fayetteville with aid of financial sponsorship from the city of Little Rock and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Preliminary development cost estimates range between $1.1 million to $1.3 million.

Putting together solid estimates will be a logical next step in the planning process, Grummer said.

The site plan for the vacant, 1-acre parcel along the east side of Rock Street between 17th and 19th streets is laid out to accommodate nine modern homes built around a common area and playground.

“The project returns housing to the neighborhood, but instead of one house at a time, it presents a signature project,” said Stephen Luoni, director of the Community Design Center and distinguished professor at the UA’s Fay Jones School of Architecture.

The design calls for the use of structural insulated panel walls, preassembled and shipped to site, as important building blocks. The SIPs provide insulation opportunities for heating/cooling and sound.

The floor plans are divided among three styles of houses. A pair of two-story models with 1,300-1,400 SF under roof is on the north end of the property.



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