Little Rock, AR
Mixed-Use Retail & Residential
This infill project at 1424 Main St. in the burgeoning SOMA (“Southside Main Street”) district blends design concepts of today with more traditional sensibilities suited for its historic neighborhood. South of the Interstate-630 divide, SOMA is a large, mostly residential neighborhood filled with historic properties. It’s an eclectic mix of buildings from a wide range of time periods dating back to early 1900s Victorian architecture. Being directly on Main Street, the commercial strip in the district, the project is a hybrid of small scale commercial and residential. 1424 Soma is one of only a few new-construction projects in the district in recent years, and is unique in its more contemporary design. The 2-story building houses 16 apartments, 14 of which comprise the entire upper level, while the majority of the ground floor is dedicated to five commercial spaces. In order to satisfy key design standards outlined by the Design Overlay Commission, factors such as height, scale, and proportion had to be considered for their appropriateness. Traditional elements of rhythm and symmetry with familiar components such as columns, bay windows, and retail storefronts were used, but with an updated aesthetic. The introduction of a central courtyard on the second level not only provides an amenity for the tenants, but also further breaks down the scale of the building to a more appropriate level at the sidewalk. A balance of brick and metal cladding nods to the more typical building materials of the neighborhood, while providing a point interest and departure.