8th Street Market wins AIA Arkansas Merit Award

Located in Bentonville, Ark., the 8th Street Market project transformed a blighted Tyson Foods processing plant into a community-focused food hub. Anchored by the Brightwater culinary arts school, 8th Street Market is home to a variety of restaurants and retailers, as well as craft brewery Bike Rack Brewing Co. The market is the first phase of a 55-acre master plan for Bentonville’s Market District, and has helped ignite the district’s redefinition as a destination.

The design created an authentic and unique lifestyle hub for the public, catalyzed by an increased interest with local food production, communal activity and the beautiful natural landscape of Northwest Arkansas. The main conduit for this transformation and regrowth is called “The Vine.” The Vine is a shade structure that created a covered band of activity around the existing building, recalling the traditional covered zones found in historic markets. Inspired by a combination of the traditional market typology and agricultural vernacular, it provides opportunities for activity while integrating landscape and site amenities. It will become a literal zone of regrowth as the landscape matures around the structure.

8th Street Market was recently recognized as a Merit Award winner in the annual AIA Arkansas Design Awards. A few of the juror’s comments are included below. A video provided by AIA Arkansas recaps the project and shares juror comments as well as an interview with Paul Esterer, Co-founder and NWA President of Newmark Moses Tucker Partners.

Juror comments

“What I really love about the 8th Street Market project was its diversity in urban space, tied together through a really strong brand and common architectural language that really stitched all the outdoor spaces together.”

“The 8th Street Market project was a really interesting renovation project, where they just took the simplicity of the existing buildings and then added a layer with this very finely-articulated screen and really created a space that made a place for people to be.” 

Video by Moore Creative in Little Rock.