New Orleans, LA


Home Building at Thaden

The Home building is a central link at Thaden School, a new high school campus in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to designing the building, the design team led the creation of a holistic Master Plan, one that would guide the school in the development of its campus. From these conversations, the design team ultimately developed the Home Building, the crux of the pedagogy’s Meals program. Inspiration was specifically drawn from precedents in the landscape, notably the idea of the Ozark farmhouse. As the hearth of the campus, the Home building provides an expansive dining hall, where all of campus comes together for meals.

A concept to the overarching campus is that of indoor-outdoor relationships. As the central space supporting the “Meals” program, the Home building sought to challenge default ideas of consumption and production. Students take classes in a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen—one of the truly unique spaces in the Home building— one that deeply espouses the school’s “learning by doing” mantra. The adjacent landscape is a productive one. An “urban agriculture” program features fruit and vegetable fields, orchards, and planter boxes. 

Stormwater management (91% is managed onsite) is accomplished via a distributed strategy, with several detention areas across the site. In the rear of the Home Building, an ever-present “water lab,” detains the majority of rainwater, while offering a unique “classroom outside the classroom”—an opportunity for students to learn directly via their surroundings. 

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Status: Built
Location: Bentonville, AR, US
Firm Role: Architect of Record
Additional Credits: EskewDumezRipple project team
Z Smith, FAIA
Steve Dumez, FAIA
Tracy Lea, FAIA
Amanda Rivera, AIA
Christian Rodriguez, AIA
Mike Johnson, AIA
Chris Jackson

Consultant team
Architect of Record: EskewDumezRipple
Civil Engineer: Ecological Design Group
Structural Engineer: Engineering Consultants Inc
MEP: CMTA Consulting Engineers
Landscape: Andropogon Associates, Ltd
Project Management: Aegis Property Group | WEI
Irrigation: Aqueous
General Contractor: Milestone
Signage and Wayfinding: Tom Zetek
Client: Thaden School