Blake Street House _ 2019
Blake Street House – “BlakeSt. – is a social club located just a few blocks off of Bentonville’s downtown square. Its story begins with the home of Thomas Taylor Blake, a businessman, sheriff and hotel operator, who built his house in the late 1880s on one of Bentonville’s original 166 lots. The historic Blake house was rebuilt on the same lot, including many of its original architectural details, and is connected to a modern 12,000-sq. ft. “addition.”
Cantilevers and full-height expanses of glass connect traditional and modern at BlakeSt. The thresholds offer views of the club’s pool from one side, and look out onto a main access street from the other. They are a definitive link for the relationship of public to private space. Key public spaces – the Parlor, Club Dining, Club and West Lounges – are strategically positioned along the main traffic corridors. The house’s main entrance welcomes guests in from BlakeSt. Along B Street, the restaurant opens up to outdoor dining and a small green space, and a balcony extends from the second-floor Club Lounge. When creating the site plan for BlakeSt., we wanted to provide a certain level of privacy for club members. We wondered how we could maintain a sense of seclusion in a semi-urban context. Working with 40NORTH and Ecological Design Group, the answer was landscaping. Clusters of trees and grasses bring a green touch to the pool deck and multiple patio areas surrounding the house. Outside the club, evergreens line the fence as a shield for road and pedestrian traffic passing by.
The relationship of old and new is especially evident as you enter the front door. The Parlor is a popular spot for club members to casually socialize on their way in and out of the club. The Blake home’s original millwork was meticulously replicated. Adjacent to the Parlor, the Library offers members a place for focused work. A large coworking table is the centerpiece of the room, flanked by a cozy bay window with cushioned seating. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are filled with books to check out and curated by club members.
Providing a place for members to build community socialize was equally important as the motive of health and fitness. The club’s multiple food and beverage venues provide space for human connection. The day can start with a latte at the Terrace Bar, and end with dinner in the restaurant.
A light-filled stair marks the health and wellness wing, and is a steady source of club member traffic throughout the day. Spa-inspired locker rooms, complete with steam rooms, custom-milled lockers and high-end fixtures, sit at the base of the stair. On the second level, a private-access gym, group fitness studios and spa treatment rooms support the club’s mission of providing a holistic wellness experience.
The 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.