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Tourmaline Urban Lofts
Tourmaline Urban Lofts, a townhome development in the heart of downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, is a unique pocket utopia immersed in the vibrant spirit of the thriving art and music scenes in the city's Market District. The beautiful natural colors and elements of the Ozarks and the unique attributes of the gemstone "tourmaline" inspired the townhome design, and the growing cultural scene in Bentonville, the home of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary, was the perfect location for a cluster of lofts to house the creative class.
The challenge was to design a community of townhomes on a small site within the urban context of the Market District. This project was a first of its kind for this area. It required creating a Planned Residential Development to meet the city's criteria for the project typology to obtain building permits.
As both the architect and developer, encapsulating the natural allure of Arkansas within the built form was fundamental. The resultant design displays an eloquent ode to the Natural State's unique characteristics, seamlessly blending rich earth-toned hues with an exquisite palette ranging from soft grays to deep blacks and browns. The lofts emanate serenity and beauty by using rusted metals that bow to the old barns that dot the countryside and are adorned with a delicate screen whose pattern was developed by eroding the pattern of the molecular structure of the gemstone tourmaline, a nod to the fine quartz crystals that are abundant in the state's mines.
The loft-style residences at Tourmaline were meticulously designed to offer a harmonious fusion of modern aesthetics and functionality. Each loft has an open floor plan, allowing seamless integration of living, dining, and kitchen. The interiors are thoughtfully curated with high-quality finishes, contemporary fixtures, and abundant natural light filling the space, creating an inviting and stylish ambiance.
The creation for Tourmaline Urban Lofts evolved out of a combination of ideas. A desire to provide artist lofts for the creative class in a city rapidly becoming the cultural mecca of the South. To acknowledge the rich mineral resources of the state and to reflect the shape and structure of the gemstone Tourmaline by mimicking its long, slender form in the building design. To enhance the buildings' facades using a delicate, decorative screen whose pattern is derived from the molecular crystalline structure of the gemstone tourmaline. And to acknowledge that historically, artists in the Renaissance carried a tourmaline in their pocket for creative inspiration.
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