THADEN SCHOOL PERFORMANCE BUILDING
Bentonville, Arkansas (2022)
Thaden School is an innovative, project-based maker school for grades 6-12. The campus is open and unfenced, woven into an extensive network of regional pedestrian trails, connecting the school to surrounding neighborhoods and an emerging urbanism. Thaden Performance anchors the most prominent corner of the campus on Main Street, welcoming the community with an extended loggia that gestures towards the downtown square.
Thaden’s Performance Building combines natural and cultural references into a concise and powerful whole, referencing the past while looking to the future. The siting strategy, basic form, and materials arise from local agricultural conventions where long gabled forms are oriented east—west to control the sun, clad in corrugated metal. In its articulation, Thaden Performance speaks to the specific colors of gold and green found in Arkansas in the Mima Mounds and the Osage Prairie, native ecosystems that are rekindled in the Thaden campus landscape. Equally invoking modern inventions, the same color is found in the iconic green and gold automotive paints used in the 1960s.