There’s a lineage here in northwest Arkansas, in ideas of the contrast of masonry and wood, and of being of the place, of the Ozarks.
The site of Dogwoodtrot House necessitated Modus Studio’s use of masonry to meet local guidelines. The architects could have used stone, or they could have followed neighboring homes, which use rusticated brick so as to appear old. They instead embraced the clean lines and dark colors of Vintage Black Velour brick. “We liked the quality that the brick-clad forms would bring to the project,” says Baribeau. “We liked the tautness that we would get out of the brick—really clean lines control the joints well and have consistency and sharp corners.” Modus Studio also appreciated how the material worked with the redwood. “The brick forms merge cleanly out of the hillside,” says Baribeau, “and we get a rich contrast between the harder clean material coming out of the earth and the warmer feeling of the redwood cladding of the bridge box on top.”
Modus Studio uses the same brick on a fireplace in the living area. The designers intend that the hearth centers the interior of the house much as the brick forms anchor the exterior. The singular use of brick for the fireplace complements the wood finishings in the rest of the interior.
The ideas behind and aesthetic of Dogwoodtrot House might suggest to some the work of Marlon Blackwell (born 1956), an Arkansas-based architect and professor known for work that celebrates both modernity and vernacular precedents. Baribeau worked for Blackwell before founding Modus Studio, and he acknowledges Blackwell’s importance to his thinking. He also notes the influence of Warren Segraves (1924– 1978) and Fay Jones (1921–2004), Arkansan pioneers of modern architecture. “There’s a lineage here in northwest Arkansas,” he says, “in ideas of the contrast of masonry and wood, and of being of the place, of the Ozarks.” In Dogwoodtrot House, Modus Studio takes this lineage and makes it its own.
Sioux City Brick
Vintage Black Velour
2017 Fay Jones School of Architecture Alumni Merit Award
2018 AIA Gulf States Region Honor Award