|Falling in love with 'the village'|
|Thursday, 18 February 2010|
by Kayla Cooper
When Pattie Howse was looking to purchase a new home, the Hendrix
Village in Conway caught her eye. Today, she has the distinction of
being the first resident of this unique, charming neighborhood.
After a bit of research, Pattie discovered the village was inspired by a strong, community-driven development in Florida. Pattie immediately fell in love with the intentions of the new village, and when she heard becoming a resident required no connection to Hendrix College, her journey for a home began.
Pattie quickly obtained an information packet for the village, complete with builders, floor plans, and other facts about the vision of the new development.
“I was drawn to the overall vision of the modern community,” explained Pattie. “The builders wanted to create architecture that stimulates engaging moments between residents.”
The Hendrix Village developers began to think of the small things needed to nourish a “human element” which promotes and propels relationships – a sense of belonging.
As she worked with builder and architect Randy Ripley through the construction process, Pattie became a strong advocate for the principle of making architecture a means to an end – the end being connectivity and continuity. Many of the most basic ingredients in a communal recipe can be accomplished through architecture.
Inclusion and orientation of the house porch is important. “Placing porches on the street front and closer to the sidewalk facilitates neighbor interactions,” said Randy.
By selecting certain styles and sizes for the homes in the village, residents are given a unique identity. “They have a place to call home,” said Randy, “Residents will take pride in their neighborhood which is a crucial building block in community engagement.”
The first step in acquiring a coveted spot in the village was locating an information packet supplied by the school. “The whole building process was a dream for me,” explained Pattie.
“The packet provides you with information on the builders, floor plan and pricing, so all you have to do is pick what you want.”
Pattie also enjoyed the added benefit of working so closely with Randy to design her home. “Randy helped me make decisions that held to the style and period of the house as well as educating me on the pros and cons of the different options.”
Pattie chose the Villa Rosa for her home design, which is an architectural marriage of Craftsman and Italian Renaissance elements. Pattie changed a few things from the original floor plan, moving her master suite and laundry downstairs to create a reading loft upstairs. “When you are building your home, the home packet comes with a list of options and upgrades,” explained Randy.
While the standard for the homes in the village is wood flooring, Pattie’s house features beautiful stained concrete floors and shiny concrete kitchen counters, as well as certain green features, including argon-filled windows, a tankless water heater, upgraded siding and insulation, and energy star rated appliances.
“We have really wanted to create a multi-generational community, where people of all ages, income and lifestyles can live together as a whole,” said Randy. The Hendrix Village is appropriate for any stage of life, from newly-graduated college students to larger families and more. “I know the village especially interested me because I wanted to move off of my five-acre property to something more manageable,” Pattie shared. “The central location in town and the low maintenance landscaping makes it a perfect fit for me.”
Randy and Pattie say they can already see the fruits of the village labor. “Someone is always there to help me carry my groceries or whatever I may need,” described Pattie. Everyone involved in the development of the village has a vested interest in the project, therefore connecting people. It’s a sense of enthusiasm that the average builder doesn’t get to experience.
“Everyone is trying to do it right,” explains Randy. “I don’t have to worry about the quality of work because every person involved cares about the community.”
So many times, projects such as the Hendrix Village are sequestered on the edges of town, but Randy claims these community-based developments thrive when placed central in a city. “The Hendrix Village is great because it is connected to Conway and Hendrix,” explained Randy, “It’s not gated, so there it dispels any sense of exclusiveness, allowing it to weave in the fabric of Conway.”
About the Village
The Village at Hendrix – a new, walkable community – is under construction in Conway, next door to Hendrix College.