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Northgate Plaza

Modern Office Space Achieves Color-Driven Design With Metal Cladding

Northgate Plaza, a new office building opened in February 2020 in the fast-growing Pinnacle Hills neighborhood of Rogers, Ark., was envisioned as a new standard for occupant-focused office space in this premiere business and entertainment district. Northgate Plaza features modern architectural design, unique building materials and amenities that produce quality experiences not previously available in the area.

The $24-million 110,000 square-foot six-story office building and adjacent six-floor parking garage were designed by Core Architects Inc. of Rogers, Ark., in a unique orthogonal “L” shape to take advantage of the site’s elevated topography and surrounding scenic views. The office building offers visual access to panoramic views on each floor, while the top level of the parking garage features a 2,500 square-foot event space with patio that overlooks nearby Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater. Additional occupant-focused amenities include a café and fitness center.

Design of Northgate Plaza not only was focused on occupant experiences and amenities but in blending the new with the established in this former pastureland that has been envisioned as a live/work urban area by owner-developer Northgate Holdings LLC, of Rogers, Ark., according to Brandon Allen, vice president, Core Architects, which has worked with the owner group the past 15 years. Dusty Graham, AIA, president, Core Architects, served as principal in charge for the project.

The six-story Northgate Plaza was to be situated on an angled site northeast of Hunt Tower and include a covered parking garage that could also service a future four-story office building on this site – requiring the architects to make efficient use of space in their design. The café is situated on the first floor of the office building, while the parking garage hosts the lower-level fitness center and upper-level event space.

“When you look at this area, Hunt Tower sets the tone,” said Allen, of the first office building on the site that also was designed by Core Architects. The 10-story Hunt Tower, which is clad in blue- and green-hued metal panels, was the first in the area to utilize metal panels, according to Allen, who said the majority of office buildings previously had utilized masonry. Core Architects collaborated with the Conway, Ark., studio of Georg Andersen Associates Inc. to select the colored metal panels.

“The colored panels, symbolizing the sky and earth, offer reflections and abstractions of the surrounding environment,” according to a Core Architect’s design statement describing Hunt Tower.

A harmonious but unique natural color scheme reflecting the surrounding area’s rolling hills covered in vegetation and offering seasonal color changes was selected for Northgate Plaza, according to Allen. Core Architects created a series of design iterations as a well as a study of building materials and colors to find a distinctive look for the new office space that would also complement nearby Hunt Tower.

“We wanted to play off the surrounding area,” said Allen. “There are rolling hills and lots of woods. It’s very colorful. … We initially started with masonry. But we quickly changed to ALUCOBOND®. We wanted something different and were impressed with the durability of this product.”

Core Architects chose to clad Northgate Plaza in 63,518 square feet of 4mm ALUCOBOND® PLUS aluminum composite material (ACM) by 3A Composites USA. The office building is clad in 29,388 square feet of custom Dayton Blue and 25,438 square feet of new Anthracite Silver Metallic from The Classic Collection. The adjacent parking garage features 8,692 square feet of Bone White from The Classic Collection.

 “The Anthracite Silver Metallic is such a deep gray color but one that complements the matte gray on Hunt Tower,” said Allen. “It’s such a deep color that it made the facade design much more interesting. It brought a great element to this project; and, we’re currently using it on other projects. … We wanted to incorporate colors that were unique but not too trendy. The Anthracite Silver Metallic was a solid element to add to the design while also allowing us to have some fun.”

While 3A Composites USA offers a vast array of stocked finishes, it also specializes in providing custom colors to help architects and designers to achieve their envisioned designs.

“The custom Dayton Blue really complemented the colored metal panels on Hunt Tower next door,” said Allen. “It allows Northgate Plaza to own the look without overshadowing Hunt Tower. 3A Composites was very responsive in providing this custom color. We used the blue to emphasize the main entry to the office building.”

“The envelope dons anthracite silver, blue, and white architectural metal panels,” according to a Core Architects’ design statement. “The blue highlights the building’s core and raised portion of the “L” and changes shades based on sunlight, time of day, and angle of perspective. The white panels boast the event center, stationed atop the parking structure; color contrast is designed to draw eyes to the celebrated structure above. Views to and from Northgate are crucial, as the site is topographically elevated. Material and color choice were key to draw attention to the structure.”

Northgate Plaza also utilizes light features to highlight the building’s vertical position to the sun.

“This is a very modern design that utilizes simple lines,” said Allen, of the building that is designed in a 30-foot by 30-foot structural grid. “It looks as though we created two cubes and put them together (one clad in Anthracite Metallic Silver and the other in Custom Dayton Blue.) … We wanted natural light throughout the space, so glass is a very important element. You can see completely through this building.”

Ace Glass Construction Corp., based in Little Rock, Ark., assumed a design-build role on Northgate Plaza in late-2018 with general manager Crossland Construction Co. Inc. of Rogers, Ark.

“We’ve started using metal panels a lot now,” said Jim Womble, vice president, Ace Glass Construction Corp. and Ace Glass Manufacturing Corp. “The colors for Northgate Plaza were suggested by the owner’s interior design firm (Georg Andersen Associates). This project was definitely color-driven.”

Ace Glass Construction fabricated approximately 960 large ALUCOBOND PLUS panels for installation on Northgate Plaza. The panels measured approximately 4' wide by 14' tall.

“These panels were installed floor-to-floor,” said Womble. “Installing these large panels required additional manpower and equipment. One man had to be positioned at the top of the panel and another at the bottom in two separate lifts.”

Ace Glass Construction installed the ALUCOBOND PLUS panels with Carter Metal Panel EVO extrusions in a rainscreen system.

Photography courtesy of Ace Glass Construction Corp. and Ace Glass Manufacturing Corp.

About 3A Composites USA

Alucobond logo3A Composites USA offers aluminum composite material. For more information, visit www.alucobondusa.com.

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