Arkansas Studies Institute
Little Rock, AR
The Library’s History Institute combines three buildings of three different centuries and construction types into one site sensitive architectural time line, evoking imagery of pages of an open book. The ASI was one of only five libraries worldwide (Saudi Arabia to Boston) to win a National AIA/ALA Library Honor Award in 2011.
The Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) is a repository for over 10 million historic documents and the papers of seven Arkansas Governors, including President William Jefferson Clinton. Located in a thriving entertainment district, the design combines neglected buildings from the 1880’s and 1910’s with a new technologically expressive archive addition, creating a pedestrian focused, iconic gateway to the library campus – and the public face of Arkansas history. Archive receiving and documentation occurs in the historic 1914 Geyer and Adams building, while the heavy archival shelving occupies four full floors of the 24,000 sf new addition in moveable compact shelving. The archives were designed to NARA standards for temperature and humidity control. A thin atrium stretches the building’s length between new and old, flooding all levels with light – a key sustainable strategy. 100 historic images in glass handrails signify that architecture can and should actively engage in storytelling. Public Spaces – galleries, a café, a museum, and meeting rooms – enliven streetscape storefronts, while the great research hall encompasses the entire second floor of the 1914 building. Suspended bridges span the gap between new and old, open and secure, today and yesterday. The west façade’s frosted glass fins control sun exposure while displaying historic faces of Arkansas life, like large bookmarks in time. The ASI averages over 75,000 visitors each year, which is an astounding number considering its primary use as an archival facility. History is on display.
AIA/ALA National Library Building Award
University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture Alumni Design Award – First Place
National Winner award in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) $15 million to $75 million
AIA Gulf States Honor Award
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award Finalist
Arkansas AIA Member Honor Award
ASID South Central Chapter Silver Interior Design Award
South Central Construction by McGraw-Hill Construction, Judges Best Construction Award
Arkansas Preservation Award – Excellence in Preservation through Rehabilitation
Arkansas Preservation Award – Outstanding New Construction in an Historic Setting (HM)
Quapaw Quarter Association Award of Merit