When Ortho Arkansas approached Cromwell, they had been notified that their lease would expire in 18 months and their former building would be sold and demolished for future development. 18 months included the time to acquire an appropriate site and produce a design that would be approved by the local planning authorities. Cromwell presented the client with a fast-track design/construction process that would allow them to stay on schedule and meet their move-in date.
The new 75,000 SF, three story building accommodates 14 physicians of various specialties. There are large areas for physical and occupational therapy as well as an imaging suite with MRI, CT and radiology capabilities. The third floor was left unfinished due to the anticipated growth of the clinic. It also includes expansive spaces for Physical and Occupational Therapy.
The design of the new headquarters takes advantage of the prominent midtown site with its proximity and high visibility from Interstate 630. Located at the north entrance to the University District, all newcomers to UALR are now routed down Fair Park rather than University Ave. This building is designed to be a significant landmark along the I-630 corridor. Most prominent from the east bound lanes of 630, the main feature from this vantage point is the stair tower on the north side of the building. As a required fire exit from the building, it is also a very prominent backdrop for visible signage from east bound I-630.
One of the prominent features of the project is the communicating lobby stair that facilitates movement by staff and mobile patients among the clinic’s multiple specialties and contributes to a sense of openness and movement between public areas. It is accentuated by the open risers, glass handrails and curtain wall beyond.
The building itself is a structurally economical 30’ x 30’ steel frame grid which accommodated ease of construction. Relatively light weight, but high performance windows combined with cement fiber and aluminum composite wall panels reduced the structural loads and costs while enhancing the speed of construction necessary for the tight construction schedule. The addition of limited masonry provided a refined and economical combination of materials and an attractive, maintenance free, durable exterior.