Living Design

Club House: BlakeSt.

What if there was a club that, instead of welcoming an exclusive group of people towards a single purpose, invited experts and beginners alike in pursuit of collective progress, not perfection?

BlakeSt.’s mission traces back to the first farmers in Arkansas, who built their homes with whatever two men could carry. Owned and operated by Ropeswing Group, BlakeSt. is a place grounded in the simple idea that progress happens when we share the load and work together.

Named for and located on the site of the historic Blake house in downtown Bentonville, the design objective began with rebuilding the original 1880s farmhouse, as well as introducing a 10,000+ sf “addition” to the home. The massing and roofline are comfortable in their surroundings. Cantilevers and full-height expanses of glass differentiate between the traditionally inspired front of the house, and distinctly modern addition.

“The glass thresholds connect traditional and modern spaces, offering views of the surrounding neighborhoods on the one side, and a view of the club’s private pool on the other,” said Principal in Charge Brad Kingsley. “These connections also define the link between public and private.”

The interior concept, created by FÖDA, is a compilation of spaces programmed for every activity – community workshops and engaging in thoughtful conversations, dining with good company, logging a few hours of focused work, unwinding with a record, hitting a group workout class, recovering with a massage and restoring the mind with quiet meditation. These can all happen with ease at BlakeSt. And they do. Furnishings, colors and objects were carefully selected with the hope of evoking a specific mood, memory and sense of place. The club is designed for members to flow through comfortably, at their own pace, with intention.

In an Arkansas Money & Politics feature, RopeSwing co-founder Rob Apple shared that, “BlakeSt. blurs the line between a formal hospitality experience, a wellness club and a good friend’s home. The team is there to guide member experiences, but not necessarily wait on the member hand and foot. We hope that our members will feel comfortable taking a degree of ownership in their experience from both a social and wellness standpoint and work with other members toward that end.”

A spirit of hospitality is deeply woven into Arkansas’ cultural fabric, and the presence of BlakeSt. in Bentonville is particularly significant. The town’s steady and fast-paced growth over the last decade has ushered in a new wave of destination venues for the region. An all-in-one social, wellness and co-working club, BlakeSt. is a progressive model of bringing people together for the betterment of the whole community.

Kurt Berman, Ropeswing CEO, emphasized that BlakeSt.’s goals extend beyond the club itself. “We are striving to be as inclusive as possible, while actively helping to change the lives of everyone living in this region, not just our members.”

View the project here.