Fayetteville Arkansas | 2014 - Present
The Hedge is a proposed Baptist Mission Center serving University of Arkansas students, and is located across the street from Bill and Hillary Clinton’s historic house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The ABS Mission Center (known as The Hedge) originally brought the project to us with questions as to whether they should re-brand their organization and abandon from the religious symbolism the hedge, which refers to a protective envelope that God places around his followers. Rather than abandon this symbolism we embraced its architectural potential as both a diagram and material identity. In doing so, the project took hedge beyond symbol to become an architectural organization that instigates a vibrant inner social life that grows from inside out to create a singular and unifying exterior volume.
The vegetation that makes up the majority of the exterior envelope has varying presences depending upon the level of care that the ABS Mission chooses to give it. The building therefore is placed in a continually oscillating cycle between unkempt hairiness and well-manicured topiary; unbound to a single way of being.
The site sits at the southern edge of the University of Arkansas campus in an area that is currently undergoing a radical change in scale due to the university’s housing expansion program. The architecture anticipates the changing nature of the street to a more public realm. The Hedge is "pruned" to create public space along the street while revealing interior spaces. The distinct presence of the interior is marked by a mass painted with warm colors that change as one progresses vertically through the building and site. Ultimately, this creates an public connection to the varying events within the building with the hopes of expanding the Hedge's mission.