Arkansas State University System Office
Little Rock, AR
Located across the street from the Arkansas State Capitol, this mid-century penthouse with great historical significance was converted to house system offices for Arkansas State University. Built in 1954, a portion of the sixth-floor space was a former apartment of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller in the late 1960’s. The remainder of the floor was used as headquarters for an insurance company. Deferred maintenance and code upgrade costs nearly brought the wrecking ball to this historic building. Working in a creative collaboration with the Arkansas State Building Authority and Arkansas State University, Cromwell began the process of reclaiming the very desirable space.
“…The feedback has been so positive on the [Arkansas State University System Office] space – both on functionality and design.
An alumni remarked to me that it seemed like such a happy, open place. I have had that comment more than once. [It was] important for me that people feel welcome when they are in the space. We definitely achieved this!”
Julie Bates, Executive Vice President
Arkansas State University
Continuous ribbon windows with large overhangs and low ceiling heights guided the design narrative. A large meeting area is enclosed with full height glass partitions opening up panoramic views from within to both the State Capitol on the west and downtown Little Rock on the east. This openness greatly reduces the negative impact of 8’-6” ceilings.
Governor Rockefeller’s former living room became the office of the president of the system with existing covered deck as an amenity. Simple modern furnishings appropriately recall the mid-century character of the building and aesthetics of Governor Rockefeller while appropriately representing a progressive university system.