On the Boards: Carpet Barn
On the Boards:
The Birth of a Project
Started in 1964, Carpet Barn is a family owned, native Arkansas small business headquartered in Pine Bluff, AR with an additional branch in North Little Rock. From our first conversations, it was apparent that JDM shared a kinship with the Carpet Barn team as their “blue-collar” culture resonated with our own. Our team immediately clicked with the passion that Carpet Barn had for their new showroom project.
From the very beginning, we included the contractor and the extended consultant team. In many ways, this was a Design/Build experience with Alessi-Keyes Construction (AKC) providing invaluable insight throughout the design process. In fact, it was through AKC that we met Shean Drewry, the manager of the North Little Rock Carpet Barn location. This led to a highly collaborative process where Carpet Barn, JDM, and AKC all worked together throughout the whole design process. The collaborative process also included the extended consultant team of Halff+Marlar (Site and Civil), Robbins Engineering Consultants (Structural), and Insight Engineering (MEP/FP) – all outstanding communicators that the JDM team has been blessed to work with before.
Laying Out the Ground Work
Our team embraces a partnering spirit with our “Authorities Having Jurisdiction” on all projects, and this one was no exception. As the design team coordinated with the client and contractor on building systems, we engaged in several meetings with the city to ensure that our design not only served Carpet Barn but the city of Conway itself. In particular, the Fire Marshal helped us clarify how the life-safety codes would be interpreted during their permitting review. This pro-active approach allowed our team to get feedback from the Fire Marshal on their expectations, and inform our design choices for the Fire Sprinkler, Fire Alarm, and Mechanical/HVAC systems that were compatible with the economic parameters of the project. Additionally, our team was able to help facilitate approval by the local development review board and ensure that the new project would be a good neighbor to the existing community.
The Carpet Barn brand has maintained a nostalgic rusticity to their showrooms. This time around, their leadership seized the opportunity to integrate a more timeless and contemporary look into the new showroom and warehouse that spoke to the architecture of the up and coming city of Conway. Our project architect, Randy Ripley, came up with the design of a grand entry and beautiful façade with colored metal panels and rustic wainscot stone veneer bottom flanking the aesthetically patterned cement fiber lap siding. The color scheme and material selection are reminiscent of times past – alluding to the barn typology – yet in a form that speaks more to the contemporary architecture of today. To top it all off, the EIFS proudly calls out to all those who pass by.
The interior space was carefully laid out allowing for the front desk to greet incoming customers. The central location of the front desk allows for a full visual capacity of the whole space – heightening security and safety for a commercial space. The storage warehouse also had to take several careful considerations. The space would allow for the maximum amount of storage and a carpet cutter, yet simultaneously leaving enough room to accommodate for the wide spin of a forklift. All of these decisions were closely made with the client, and the final design was a space carefully crafted for the needs of Carpet Barn and its future customers. Not only is it a space for business, it is targeted to be a space where everyone from the community can see all the beautiful flooring Carpet Barn has to offer. We know they did an amazing job with our office flooring!
The entire project team (client, design team, and contractor) all enjoyed working together on this project, and there are whispers that this project could be the seed for a proto-type that might become a brand that extends to other markets in the state. In the meantime, the client proudly displays the beautiful renders we generated for the new building while the construction is in progress. The greatest joy we get on any project is always a satisfied client, but there was certainly something special about this experience in working with such committed, talented, passionate, and humble group of partners.
-- The JDM Team --